BRC Book Group Discussion, Wednesday, April 17
The next Book Group gathering will be on Wednesday, April 17, from 7:00‑9:00PM, and will be hosted by John Baldwin at his Bellevue home. The book selection for April is “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by Atul Gawande, named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, NPR, and Chicago Tribune. If you (and partner) plan on attending, please contact Margaret Doman.
If you have an ODD numbered birth year, please bring a bottle of wine to share.
* * *
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. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients’ anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them.
In his bestselling books, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures-in his own practices as well as others’-as life draws to a close. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life — all the way to the very end.
“Wise and deeply moving.” — Oliver Sacks
“Illuminating.” — Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Beautifully written … In his newest and best book, Gawande has provided us with a moving and clear-eyed look at aging and death in our society, and at the harms we do in turning it into a medical problem, rather than a human one.” — The New York Review of Books
“Gawande’s book is so impressive that one can believe that it may well [change the medical profession] … May it be widely read and inwardly digested.” ― Diana Athill, Financial Times (UK)