13 September, 2015

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

We often forget the problems of old age when we are young and able. "Being Mortal" opens our eyes to this reality in a very sensitive manner. The author takes us through a gamut of emotions and makes us think deeper. It is only when we need the support of our family, we realize how hard it can be for the person needing this support and also for the person who is accepting it.

Even as a doctor, the author grapples with the idea when it is his immediate family, (in this case his father who is also a doctor),for whom he has to make decisions which are in his best interests.

With the advancement of medical technology, there are new ways to fight our diseases. However, a time comes when a sick person needs to spend the time on this earth with their near and dear ones and call it a day. This is palliative care. This decision  can sometimes be the hardest.

Medical interventions have to work in tandem with the wishes of the patient. How does one end one's life story? It is people close to the dying person that help them make this decision.
I think this book is a must read for medical students, doctors, caregivers and anybody who values the elderly.

Title: Being mortal
Author: Atul Gawande
Recommended by Kanchan T, Blockhouse Bay Library. I enjoy reading biographies, non-fiction and real life stories. I love to travel.

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