By Atul Gawande
In Being Mortal, Gawande examines his reports as a physician, as he confronts the realities of getting older and death in his sufferers and in his family members, in addition to the bounds of what he can do. And he emerges with tale that crosses the globe and background, exploring questions that variety from the curious to the profound: What occurs to people's tooth as they get outdated? Did humans rather devote senecide, the sacrifice of the aged? Why do the elderly so dread nursing houses and hospitals? How should still an individual supply another individual the dreadful information that they are going to die?
This is a narrative informed merely as Atul Gawande can — penetrating people's lives and in addition the platforms that experience developed to control our mortality. these structures, he observes, usually fail to serve — or perhaps recognize — people's wishes and priorities past mere survival. And the implications are devastating lives, households, or even complete economies. yet, as he finds, it does not must be this manner.
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Extra info for Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End
Felix, in a brown suit and a stone-colored oxford shirt, gave his arm to Bella, who wore a blue-flowered knee-length dress that he’d picked out for her, and guided her to the table. She was amiable and chatty and had youthful-seeming eyes. But once she’d been seated, she couldn’t find the plate in front of her, let alone the menu. Felix ordered for her: wild-rice soup, an omelette, mashed potatoes, and mashed cauliflower. “No salt,” he instructed the waiter; she had high blood pressure. He ordered salmon and mashed potatoes for himself.
She was found sitting in the wrong cabin, wondering where everyone was. We’d never seen her confused like that before. The family kept a close eye on her for the next few days, but nothing else untoward happened. We all let the matter drop. 34 Then Nan, visiting Alice at home one afternoon, noticed black-and-blue bruises up and down her leg. Had she fallen? No, Alice said at first. But later she admitted that she’d taken a spill going down the wooden basement stairs. It was just a slip, she insisted.
Although the processes can be slowed—diet and physical activity can make a 42 difference—they cannot be stopped. Our functional lung capacity decreases. Our bowels slow down. Our glands stop functioning. Even our brains shrink: at the age of thirty, the brain is a three-pound organ that barely fits inside the skull; by our seventies, gray-matter loss leaves almost an inch of spare room. That’s why elderly people like my grandfather are so much more prone to cerebral bleeding after a blow to the head—the brain actually rattles around inside.