Being Mortal (10 weeks)
S 2018


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.  This is not a book about dying; it is a book about living at the end of life and what the American health care system needs to do to improve end of life care for seniors: what can be done, what has been done, and what is needed to do it better.

Dr. Gawande, a Harvard surgeon, is a master reviewer of a number of health care problems including articles in the New Yorker about variable costs of health care in different sections of the country, and other best sellers such as The Checkpoint Manifesto.  Being Mortal was on the New York Times non-fiction best seller list for over 70 weeks, many of them as #1.

As a retired geriatrician, I consider Being Mortal to be one of the most important books on health care for seniors to be published in the last decades.

Weekly Topics

 1. Introduction

 2. The Independent Self

 3. Things Fall Apart

 4. Dependence

 5. Assistance

 6. A Better Life

 7. Letting Go

 8. Hard Conversations

 9. Courage

10. Epilogue


1. Being Mortal: Medicine and What matters in the End by Atul Gawande

2. Institue of Medicine Report (2015) -- Dying in America: Improving Quality and Honoring Individual Preferences Near the End of Life (free full text version)