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Being Mortal

Being Mortal

In Being Mortal, Gawande examines his experiences as a surgeon, as he confronts the realities of aging and dying in his patients and in his family, as well as the limits of what he can do.  Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. This is a story told only as Atul Gawande can - penetrating people's lives and also the systems that have evolved to govern our mortality. Those systems, he observes, routinely fail to serve - or even acknowledge - people's needs and priorities beyond mere survival.  And the consequences are devastating lives, families, and even whole economies. But, as he reveals, it doesn't have to be this way.

About the Author

Atul Gawande

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH, is a surgeon, writer, and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is professor in both the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health and the Department of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and Chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. Atul has been a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine since 1998 and has written three New York Times bestsellers: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award in 2002; Better; and The Checklist Manifesto. He has won two National Magazine Awards, AcademyHealth’s Impact Award for highest research impact on healthcare, a MacArthur Fellowship, and the Lewis Thomas Award for writing about science.

 

Read our longlist Q&A with Atul Gawande here

Accolades