Being Mortal

Gawande, Atul

  21 Reviews

According to Benjamin Franklin, 'in this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes'. In this book American surgeon Atul Gawande addresses the first of these certainties and the death that awaits us all. Beginning with the history of residential care for the elderly and moving on to the issue of medical intervention, this is a thought-provoking analysis presenting these issues in an open and easy to read style.

Confronting the harsh realities of our mortality, this book is a springboard into examining our attitudes and expectations for our eventual demise, well supported by research and the author's professional and personal experiences in USA and India.



CHCH 537
We all loved it, some great learning from it as in how to deal with the elderly and the use of language and how to engage with them around life changes. Our group had lots of interesting discussions around death and acceptance of it. A big thumbs up from us all.
TAUP 010
Depressing. Not all of us finished it. Far too much detail. Most of the group gave it a low score.
AUCK 255
A must read to better understand and prepare for end of life. Written with sensitivity and honesty, with excellent case examples. Should be compulsory reading for anyone involved in caring for the elderly.
Age appropriate for our group! Enjoyed by most members. Engendered animated discussion on a topic not everyone had seen as an essential preparation for their own end of life. Recommended for everyone who enjoys a bit of forward thinking. This is a well written engaging book.
WELL 189
Fascinating. 1 of us is specifically interested in aging, elder care and systems having watched as her grandma moved from independent living, to nursing home care and finally, passed away. This book challenges us to rethink the way we view, discuss and approach aging, terminal illness and growing debility towards the end of life. In some senses it raises more questions how are we doing in NZ to make sure that our older and unwell peoples last days are good days What might good days look like for me when I reach that time of life Highly recommended.
A thoughtful, insightful and deeply depressing book. Well-written and researched, covering subject matter this reader would rather not acknowledge, preferring instead to remain ostrich like with head firmly in the sand and derriere jauntily saluting the sun, tail feathers waving nonchalantly in the air!
CHCH 299
This book covers the aging process and the care of the elderly. Most of us found some parts of this book challenging, particularly those who have had elderly parents in care. But we also found it an interesting book which raised many questions and it was a good discussion book.
AUCK 037
An important and timely read. Discussion centred on how the author handled the topic of dying, with many examples and anecdotes to illustrate his points about the over-medicalization of death in the West and first world countries. It made for fascinating, but at times grim reading. Yet we all agreed that it had opened our eyes to what we need to think about and prepare for.
WELL 007
Whilst we thought that this book raised important issues and was very insightful, most of us thought there was too much detail - especially with the case studies. And several of us skipped some passages in the book because of this.
AUCK 063
Scored very highly by our group. Especially by those who had not been as challenged with the deaths or dying of close ones. A very readable and informative look at the positives of preparing for, and managing the end of life. Confronting, but kind - and necessary!
CHCH 393
An amazing book. We could all relate to it from different experiences with elderly family members. An enlightening, empowering and thought provoking account. The case histories really brought it to life. A must read!
CHCH 320
"Challenging", Depressing", "Dreadful", and "Educational" were just some of the gamut of response elicited by this book. Many of us would NOT have chosen to read this book off the library shelf. However the subject matter is very important. One member even went as far as to recommend that 'Being Mortal' should be compulsory read for al "gold cardholders" and their partners and families. Emotion, melancholy, loss, hurt, tears and other deeply personal thoughts were shared during our discussion. The wine certainly tasted sweet after such a harrowing experience.
CHCH 420
We really enjoyed this and it generated a lot of discussion about free choice, medical procedures and how these decisions are coloured by our own experiences and beliefs.
Excellent book. Good discussion. Everyone should read it. Highly recommended.
What a wonderful book. A book everyone should read and then start family 'talks'.
CHCH 282
We all felt this was the most worthwhile and thought-provoking book ever. Challenging to many, and should be compulsory reading for all carers of the elderly. Many in the group are talking to family and taking action to make their old age meaningful - all as a result of reading this book.
An excellent discussion book for those who are looking for more than a light read. Challenging, confronting, encouraging and depressing. Discussion was great.
AUCK 240
Excellent book. Catalyst for great discussion. Highly recommended.
AUCK 226
We all enjoyed this fascinating book. Lots of moments of, "Of course, this makes perfect sense". It's time to rethink our priorities as a western society.
AUCK 016
We found the book very valuable and inspirational. Several plan to purchase the book and discuss it with their families.
CHCH 088
Very interesting book, well-written and a lively discussion. Very thought-provoking!