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jcpenney.com | Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

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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 one area medicine's very advances can harm as well as help. This is the inevitable condition of aging and death, where 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. In his groundbreaking books, Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly examined his profession. Now he addresses its ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life, not its mere prolongation, is the desired goal for patients and families. This is achievable only if we look beyond established institutions to innovative visions. 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.
  • Book Type: Reading
  • Base Material: Paper
  • Country of Origin: Made in US
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