Being Mortal – by Atul Gawande

Being MortalI was recommended to read this book by a visitor to our stand at the recent Health + Care Show in London. It is a compelling read, if somewhat unsettling at times.  It brought back many memories for me..and, let’s face it, end of life is not a comfortable subject to discuss.  However, as the title of book states and the author describes – there is only one thing certain in life and that is that we are all, one day, going to die – it’s just a question of how.  This well written book discusses the effect that modern medicine has had on the way people die, the impact this has on their quality of life and how our society provides the care they require.  He explores the American approach to eldercare and charts his own journey of discovery away from being the surgical “fixer” that he was trained to be in medical school, to being able to open very difficult conversations with elderly people and individuals with terminal illness  to identify what really mattered to them and what sort of care would help them achieve what matters most.

Definitely a must read for anyone who hopes to live life their own way, right to the end and for everyone involved in caring for people.