Atul Gawande Being Mortal Summary

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The Frontline special on Being Mortal, written by Atul Gawande, shows the difficult side of healthcare that many doctors struggle with, how to confront death with patients. He brings light to topics like terminal illness and facing mortality. Atul Gawande is an oncologist whom, like many doctors, still wonders how to tell patients that their treatment is no longer working. He decided to collaborate with different physicians to gain a better understanding of how to approach the situation. A young woman was referred to him, 8 months pregnant and diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. This was the first time he found himself struggling with treatment and end of life options. Her and her physicians tired every method possible to beat an incurable…show more content…
They approach the situation in a different way that is better understood by the patient. The physician in palliative care at Brigham and Women’s was effective and compassionate. Every time she was with a patient she leaned it and would lightly touch their shoulder or leg. That light touch can be very helpful to calm a patient and improves the patient doctor relationship. She would also ask the patient what they were feeling before she continued to talk which gave her a better grasp on the situation. Overall, I think her methods and techniques were incredibly helpful with the patients she treated in this…show more content…
Although the patients were all in the same stage physically, their mental status greatly differed between each of them. One of the most influential patients was, Jeff. He approached death differently than the other patients; he wasn’t scared or worried, but happy with the live he lived. He didn’t want to pursue any extra unnecessary treatment that would have decreased his quality of life. Sometimes people get so caught up in the treatment and searching for miracles that they forget how painful the side effects of treatment can be and how the pain can shorten their life. Jeff spent his last few weeks at home surrounded by family and said that those last few weeks were some of the happiest weeks of his life. I think it is important to weigh the options of treatment and really consider what the quality of life will be during
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