Being Mortal; Medicine and What Matters in the End – New in the Church Library

A review in the New York Times prompted me to read the bestseller Being Mortal; Medicine and What Matters in the End by Dr. Atul Gawande (362 G). I was so impressed with his critique of our medical system’s treatment of aging and death that I ordered a copy for the church library. I urge everyone to read it! Beginning with the physiology of the aging body, the author describes the inhumane aspects of many nursing homes and how they could be improved, his personal experience helping his dying father decide on appropriate medical treatment, and many stories from his medical practice. Just one example: he convinced the staff of a nursing home to obtain a number of animals (birds, cats, dogs) and urge the residents to help care for them. Many residents greatly improved, both physically and mentally, as a result. My mother loved cats, and I’m sure she would have benefitted from such an experience. Dr. Gawande demonstrates that “the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life – all the way to the end.”

~Carol Jensen, Church Librarian