What Matters in the End

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End


Review on a Book "Being Mortal"
Atul Gawande is a practicing surgeon and regular writer for The New Yorker, Being Mortal, is an open and honest look at the difficulties involved in end of life decision making. Gawande ventures into topics and conversations that are necessary in our medically advanced age, but difficult and uncomfortable as we face the reality of mortal bodies. He is honest in his sharing both as he approaches a variety of cases as a surgeon and as he has to face these conversations as a son supporting his father through cancer.

Reflection Questions

1. Overall, what was your reaction to this book? Did you enjoy the frankness? Were you uncomfortable with the topic? Did it stir up memories?
My Answer: Overall it is good book on present and continuing us to realize our death is certain. Hence, leaving the world distress to achieve the morality could be one of everyone's aim. Who forget this certainty remains fearful or unsatisfied throughout there life.

2. Gawande proposes five questions that are important to ask yourself and loved one as you approach the end (or potential end) or life.

 a. What is your understanding of where you are and of your illness?
My Answer: I am health today. But no one knows of tomorrow. About illness is part of everyone's life. Accept it, work on it and Stay Health with your mind, soul and body.

 b. What are your fears or worries for the future?
My Answer: Future is not certain. but still everyone has worries. Certainly, to overcome the security of our near one's and of our-self could be worries to everyone. But for me, it seems merrily the matter of time.

 c. What are your goals and priorities?
My Answer: The goal is to be in service of others till end of life. Today, priorities are none. [Priorities may change as time changes.]

 d. What outcomes are unacceptable to you? What are you willing to sacrifice and not?
My Answer: In-completion of commitments could be unacceptable outcomes, due to any mishap in life. To bring commitments to the result everything can sacrifice, unless it is unharmed to our well-beings.

 e. And eventually, what would a good day look like?
My Answer: Eventually, a good day for me ! May be a summer vacation on the beach, seeping with coconut drinks with our loved once...

3. If you are comfortable sharing, tell a story of a time in your life when you or a loved one was faced with difficult decisions. How did you approach it? Are there things you would do differently?
My Answer: Caring and Sharing is all we can do in difficult time. Some decisions might be difficult but need to take in action for future of our near once's. Thous decision might be harder to share. But yes, in near future you may see the decisions taken are right. Just like when some of parents send there kids away from them to boarding schools. Or When you decide to quiet daily 9 to 5 Jobs and decide to open your own business. Or when you have to decide between your earned degree of engineering was not your passion And you quiet your profession for your dreams...

4. Did you find the inclusion of Gawande’s experience as a son facing his father’s cancer helpful? Did you notice a difference in his tone or your own reading of these sections from those where he speaks as a surgeon? Have you had conversations about end of life decisions in your family? Why or why not?
My Answer: Experience's are always a lessons to be learned. Gawande's experience is a story of every 4th family has a person with cancer. Conversations of end-of-life decisions in family is important. Donating our good organs like eyes - can bring light to others life. Hence, this could be a important part of conversations with our family.

5. At one point Gawande frames the dilemma in modern medicine thus; “We are running up against the difficulty of maintaining a coherent philosophical distinction between giving people the right to stop external or artificial processes that prolong their lives and giving them the right to stop the natural, internal processes that do so” (p. 194). What do you believe God would have us do in this dilemma, are we do continue life artificially, or pay more attention to the natural process? How might our faith help us to shape this decision?
My Answer: Faith is just merely an illusions to put layer on truth [The undiscovered facts]. But yes it helps to take decision. The Space is huge to explore yet. The things are more to be known, which is we believe is endless journey of mankind. We may need to think on it more...

Those who know Gawande’s work will not be surprised that Being Mortal is highly readable, involving, and immensely informative as it explains medical dilemmas. For those unfamiliar with his work, Gawande is an eminent Boston surgeon who was named a Fellow by the MacArthur Foundation, an honor also known as the “genius grant.” His lucid articles appear regularly in The New Yorker, and his books apply his professional experience to how we can all cope with complications, how hospitals and other institutions can achieve better results for their patients, and how all of us can benefit by using checklists to make sure we prioritize and meet personal as well as professional goals.

Being Mortal begins with a startling confession from the author: “I learned about a lot of things in medical school, but mortality wasn’t one of them.” An hour spent discussing Leo Tolstoy’s The Death of Ivan Ilyich7 in a weekly seminar on doctor-patient relations was his medical school’s sole instruction on how to deal with mortality. For much of his professional life as a surgeon, he did what he could to extend the lives of patients without considering whether that always benefited the patients.