Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters at the End Book Review

By: BayView Senior Assisted Living

In his bestselling book “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters at the End,” Atul Gawande explores the idea that the goals of modern medicine seem too often to counter the human spirit when it comes to death and aging. He argues that modern medicine has transformed injury, infection, birth, and certain diseases from frequent killers to manageable conditions. However, modern medicine may not have the best approach when it comes to the inevitable process of aging and dying.

Gawande writes:

“A few conclusions become clear when we understand this: that our most cruel failure in how we treat the sick and the aged is the failure to recognize that they have priorities beyond merely being safe and living longer; that the chance to shape one’s story is essential to sustaining meaning in life; that we have the opportunity to refashion our institutions, our culture, and our conversations in ways that transform the possibilities for the last chapters of everyone’s lives… Our ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death but a good life to the very end.”

Gawande’s Thoughts on End of Life Care

Gawande discusses how aging is not for the faint of heart. He says how it is possible in some cases to choose less treatment rather than more when faced with a life-threatening illness. As a practicing physician, he’s seen how this choice can allow individuals to experience a better quality of life in their final days.

He suggests some questions we should ask ourselves when making life-altering or end-of-life medical decisions for a loved one or ourselves. He counsels readers to ask themselves and their loved ones:

  • What do we fear most?
  • What do we want most to be able to do?
  • What can/can’t we live without?
  • What will we sacrifice so that we can accomplish what it is we want?

It’s also important to remember that the answers to these questions may change as circumstances change, so it’s prudent to revisit them. This ensures that we, our loved ones, and our medical care teams are proceeding along the end-of-life path we have chosen for ourselves.

Why Choose BayView Senior Assisted Living

BayView Senior Assisted Living is a family-owned and operated independent and assisted living community in Point Loma, California. We offer progressively increasing levels of care according to our residents’ needs. Our owners have firsthand experience of having loved ones living with Alzheimer’s and dementia and know all that goes into making decisions around memory care with a loved one. We walk alongside families as they traverse the difficult road of Alzheimer’s and have been supporting the greater San Diego community for decades.

Respectful, Compassionate, Individualised Memory Care Near You

You have our commitment to provide respectful and compassionate care. We value your trust above all else. We consider it an honor for loved ones to be entrusted to our care. Our staff receives training that exceeds state requirements and receives ongoing in-service training. This ensures that your loved one is cared for by the best caregivers in the industry.

Safe and Secure Senior Living Community with Hospice Accommodations

Additionally, we promote safety with a secured perimeter environment and trained staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our beautiful assisted living home and surrounding grounds are equipped with surveillance cameras in all public and outdoor spaces. Our home and spacious grounds meet all ADA requirements including wide hallways, safety rails, shower chairs, and no lips or gaps at doorways. This allows for easy wheelchair and walker access, increasing ease of mobility for residents.

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