Review: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
Being Mortal Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

My Review (4 Stars: Liked It A Lot!)

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

AudioBook (Downloaded from my local library.)

Publisher: Macmillan Audio, 2014

Narrated by Robert Petkoff

Length: 9 hr.s and 3 min.

Release Date: 10-07-14

Being Mortal is an in-depth look at our views about aging and dying.

The author Atul Gawande is sometimes analytical and philosophical while at the same time he discusses our mindsets about how we face our own mortality.  The real life and death stories he describes are insightful.

I had put off reading this book because of the heavy nature of the the subject, but am glad I finally listened to it.

Below is a short (~ 3 min.) video from PBS Frontline.  Dr. Gawande talks about his personal story.  It includes a link to a longer documentary.


What Others Are Saying

“This is a well-written probe into end-of-life issues by a doctor who talks about how he deals with those issues not only as a medical professional, but as a son, friend and relative. Absorbing and a must-read for anyone who plans on dying, or knows someone who does, ha. Which is Gawande’s point–most of us pretend dying is an option, a box we refuse to tick off the chart, until death is unignorably upon us–and by that time, thinking about end-of-life issues is too late.” – Helen Klein Ross, Author of  What Was Mine

About The Author (From The Publisher’s Page)

Atul Gawande is author of three bestselling books: Complications, a finalist for the National Book Award; Better, selected by as one of the ten best books of 2007; and The Checklist Manifesto. His latest book is Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End. He is also a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and a professor at Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health. He has won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science, a MacArthur Fellowship, and two National Magazine Awards. In his work in public health, he is Executive Director of Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health systems innovation, and chairman of Lifebox, a nonprofit organization making surgery safer globally. He and his wife have three children and live in Newton, Massachusetts.

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More information, including a reading guide is on the Macmillan page.

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  1. I feel like I’m the only one that hasn’t read this yet. I’m planning to read When Death Becomes Air during Nonfiction Nov this year and I think it’s the only book like that I can do for a little while…so maybe I’ll get to Being Mortal next year!

  2. Thanks, Pat, for a good review and making the crux of this book understood. I know this is tough to decide to read/listen to, but certainly we all need to be prepared for the inevitable. Perhaps it actually will help to hear the doctor’s thoughts. Thanks again. I will look for it in the library.

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