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Being Mortal

Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 9 hrs and 3 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
Non-member price: $30.38
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Publisher's Summary

For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. 

So here is an audiobook about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn't, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do.  

Never before has aging been such an important topic. The systems that we have put in place to manage our mortality are manifestly failing; but, as Gawande reveals, it doesn't have to be this way. The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death, but a good life - all the way to the very end. 

Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection. 

Wellcome Collection:

Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death.  

Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries. 

©2019 Atul Gawande (P)2014 Macmillan Audio

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uninteresting book

I tried to persevere even though I found the content quite monotonous, at the 4th chapter I gave up

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Everyone should read this book

This is a very well written book. Everyone should read this to understand and be empathetic to their parents, older family or friends situation. Great book.

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  • Mindaugas
  • 28-02-2019

Simple, yet brilliant

The author tries to pass the idea that instead of trying to exceed ones life employing any medical service necessary, we shall focus on the quality of the time left and help people to get the best of their days/weeks/months remaining.
However, the main take for me from this book are these simple truths:
- Perspective can change everything (your goals, ambition, hapiness is totally different if you have a month to live vs 20 years to go);
- listen to what my parents/loved oned want when it comes to the end of life journey (be it a mortal disease or an old age);
- I am not immortal, I should not forget that :)
- and finally - there’s a business opportunity in my country to expand assisted living concept + help the old people.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • QIU
  • 17-03-2019

a really good book on the important topic

plenty of stories that will make you think, aging with dignity is an important topic, how do we end our life