Book Rating (59)
Narrator Rating (19)

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Unabridged Audio Book

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Robert Petkoff

9 Hours 6 Minutes

Macmillan Audio

October 2014

Audio Book Summary

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.

Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.

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  • Kristi I

    Excellent book! I think this book is one that anyone who works in help care should read. The personal stories really hit home and already has me thinking differently when I am with my patients. I have not used an audio book before but I think the narration really kept me engaged and I found myself looking forward to the next time I could listen!

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  • Jeff C

    This book restored my faith in the possibility of dignified, meaningful elder care, as both a current health care provider and future patient. This book is a masterpiece and tremendous gift to our society.

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  • Katherine James

    Excellent book! Everyone should read it!

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  • rummy walia

    One of the best books written. A theoretical and practical masterpiece, intertwined so well there no way to miss the point.

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  • Barry Andricks

    I thought this book was very thoughtful and well written.

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  • Ben Walden

    I thought this was a fantastic book. This changed the whole way I think about older people and how we treat the end of life. It also has changed the way I think about what I want for myself and my family when we inevitably reach that stage. It was a little depressing and morbid at points, but that was necessary to make the point. Excellent perspective and very well written and told.

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  • Doug Smith

    The book and narrator are both great. It was recommended to me and didn't disappoint. I must admit, however, that it is tough subject matter and a bit depressing.

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  • laura rao

    I don't usually wright reviews cause i'm not very good at it. Atul Gawande is amazing. This is my 3rd book by him and im blown away. I suggest any of his books. The narrator to this book I love. His voice is so enjoyable. The women Nora Moreno Cargie whom wrote a review under mine said it all. GREAT REVIEW NORA

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  • Nora Moreno Cargie

    Incredible story telling...must read for those who care for older adults including family members. Refreshing to hear a doctor write " we've gotten it wrong" as it relates to the role of medicine during end of life; making a distinction between medical care and health care (mental spiritual and physical) in a persons final days and what that can look like....honoring the wishes of those who are ill...knowing them. Asking them what they want, having the difficult conversations--all covered through the personal story of Gawande...will read again...

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