medicine and what mattersBeing Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
by Atul Gawande (2014 nonfiction)

Harvard-trained surgeon, best-selling author, MacArthur Fellow, Atul Gawande is an eloquent, insightful, respectful and down-to-earth writer. A practicing surgeon, he freely admits in his opening sentence, “I learned about a lot of things in medical school, but mortality wasn’t one of them.” Dr. Gawande’s focus is on quality of life, giving meaning and purpose to one’s life right up until the time of death. The reader follows his journey as he learns and hones his skills to help guide patients and their families to attain the best possible life as defined by each individual. Although dealing with weighty matters, his style is an easy one which captures the reader’s attention and easily guides it through difficult situations. With current media focus on these issues, this book provides insightful and helpful information on palliative care and ways to live as fully as one wishes for the remainder of one’s life. An important, uplifting, and lifeaffirming read for everyone. (Available in the CV Library in hardback copy and also in large print and ebook versions.)

Reviewed by Carol Lyke