Book Summary: Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande Book Cover

Being Mortal is a non-fiction book written by Atul Gawande, a renowned surgeon and writer. The book explores the concept of mortality and how it affects our lives. In this book, Gawande delves into the medical profession and how it approaches the end of life. The book is divided into three parts, each of which focuses on a different aspect of mortality.

Part 1: The Odds

In the first part of the book, Gawande looks at the medical profession’s approach to mortality. He talks about how doctors are trained to focus on prolonging life, even if it means prolonging suffering. Gawande also talks about how the medical profession has become increasingly specialized, making it harder for doctors to see the whole person. He argues that this approach is not only ineffective but also cruel.

Part 2: The Story

In the second part of the book, Gawande tells the story of his own family. He talks about how his father’s battle with cancer affected him and his family. Gawande also talks about how his father’s experience with hospice care changed his perspective on mortality. He argues that hospice care is a better approach to the end of life than the traditional medical approach.

Part 3: The Way of the End

In the third part of the book, Gawande looks at the way we die in America. He talks about how the medical profession has become increasingly focused on prolonging life, even if it means prolonging suffering. He argues that this approach is not only ineffective but also cruel. Gawande also talks about how we can change our approach to the end of life by focusing on quality of life rather than quantity of life.

Conclusion

Being Mortal is a thought-provoking book that challenges our assumptions about mortality. Gawande argues that we need to rethink our approach to the end of life and focus on quality of life rather than quantity of life. He also argues that we need to see the whole person, not just their medical condition. Overall, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to learn more about mortality and how to approach the end of life.

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