Summary Of Being Mortal By Atul Gawande

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Atul Gawande’s book, “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” explores different themes such as, aging, death, and the mishandling of both aging and death by the medical profession’s. This book also addresses what it means to live well near the end of life. It is not just to survive, not just to be safe, not just to stay alive as long as the medical technology allows, but, according to the author it is about what living truly means to an individual. The author describes that the idea of “Being Mortal” developed as he watched his elderly father go through a steep decline in his health and the eventual death. He soon realized that during his medical education and training he was never taught how to help his patients with managing…show more content…
Both the patients are unhappy with their experience in assisted living and skilled nursing facilities. The author mentions that nursing home prioritizes the provision of ‘nursing’ over the creation of ‘home.’ This is upsetting for patients because they do not sense the comfort of being home. In his 1961 study Asylums, Goffman noted some shocking similarities between nursing homes and prisons. In many nursing homes residents are not allowed to walk alone in case they fall, eat certain foods in case they choke, use knives in case they cut themselves. In fact, in many institutional homes patients are not allowed to keep pets in case those pets cause inconvenience to the staff. Gawande notes that an obsession with risk is stultifying the lives of the elderly people in our society, in the years when their choices should be cherished and respected even if those choices shorten their lives. We have exalted longevity over what makes life worth living says the author. Often our elders are forced into making dramatic changes. Not only do they have to accept the fact that they must leave the home environment, they must also accept the fact that aging and health needs necessitate this move. Therefore, it is important that nursing homes provide the comfort and replicate home like environment. Hippocrates in his article “Airs Waters Places,” says, “For where the changes of the seasons are most frequent and most sharply contrasted, there you will find the greatest diversity in physique, in character, and in constitution. These are the most important factors that create difference in men’s constitutions; next come the land in which man is reared, and the water. For in general you will find assimilated to the nature of the land both the physique and the characteristics of the inhabitants.” In extension, he is saying that health

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