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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

Unabridged Audiobook

Written By: Atul Gawande

Narrated By: Robert Petkoff

Publisher: Macmillan Audio

Date: October 2014

Duration: 9 hours 0 minutes


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.


  • Brittany K.

    I'm obsessed with this book now. As someone who actually works in LTCF and palliative care, this is an intelligent, caring, gorgeous overview of the issues that come with aging, the shift our culture NEEDS to make, what we all really want from our lives, how to make the living the best it can be even in the worst circumstances, and the hard but imperative conversations we should all be having with eachother, definitely in the final stages, but ideally much, much earlier. I can't recommend this highly enough to everyone I love and everyone I help care for! Give yourself and everyone you love the best life and end possible by beginning your thought process on these subjects early and ongoing-ly. Gawande nails it in this book. The narrator is extremely pleasant, and the interview with the author at the end of this Audi version is wonderful ?!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Mark H

    A truly superb book but narrated with empathy and feeling. As a doctor, the story is so important to my work, but more so for all doctors and healthcare practitioners to be reflective on what is discussed. Thoroughly recommend.

  • Chris F

    Narration was excellent and the content helped confirm some of my true feelings on the issue of passing into the next stage of my life.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • Katherine James

    Excellent book! Everyone should read it!

  • rummy walia

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

  • Barry Andricks

    I thought this book was very thoughtful and well written.

  • 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.

  • 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.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End

by Atul Gawande

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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande
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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, Atul Gawande
This title is due for release on October 7, 2014
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