Being Mortal


Atul Gawande’s book ‘Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End’ is an acknowledgement that the power of medical science is finite and always will be. Between the author and his parents, all doctors, there is 120 years of experience in medicine. Still, at his father’s deathbed, the author realises that it is just an education and the natural order of things remains a mystery in front of them.

The book focuses on certain critical questions that are relevant at a time when people live longer, but not necessarily healthier lives – Whether the quality of life is more important than the length of it, How to make life worth living when we are weak and frail and cannot fend for ourselves any more? Should the concept of assisted suicide or death with dignity be encouraged? Should medical science prolong someone’s suffering or shorten valued lives? and so on. Ultimately, the author concludes that our ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death but a good life till the end.

Death may be an enemy but it s the natural order of things. Even if i die today I should feel that I have had a damn good life. I have done everything I could do, and I have done everything I ever wanted to. And, we live longer only when we stop trying to live longer.