Being Mortal

Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End

by

Series: Wellcome

For most of human history, death was a common, ever-present possibility. It didn't matter whether you were five or fifty - every day was a roll of the dice. But now, as medical advances push the boundaries of survival further each year, we have become increasingly detached from the reality of being mortal. So here is a book about the modern experience of mortality - about what it's like to get old and die, how medicine has changed this and how it hasn't, where our ideas about death have gone wrong. With his trademark mix of perceptiveness and sensitivity, Atul Gawande outlines a story that crosses the globe, as he examines his experiences as a surgeon and those of his patients and family, and learns to accept the limits of what he can do.

Never before has aging been such an important topic. The systems that we have put in place to manage our mortality are manifestly failing; but, as Gawande reveals, it doesn't have to be this way. The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death, but a good life - all the way to the very end.

Published in partnership with the Wellcome Collection.

WELLCOME COLLECTION is the free museum and library for the incurably curious. It explores the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. It is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas thrive.

  • Profile Books; October 2014
  • ISBN: 9781847657862
  • Read online, or download in secure ePub format
  • Title: Being Mortal
  • Series: Wellcome
  • Author: Atul Gawande
  • Imprint: Wellcome Collection

About The Author

Atul Gawande is a surgeon, writer and public health researcher. He practices general and endocrine surgery at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. He is also Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School and Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Harvard School of Public Health. He writes regularly for the New Yorker, and is the author of Better (9781861976574), Complications (9781846681325) and The Checklist Manifesto (9781846683145).

Customer Reviews


Shulamith G.
17/02/2016
Verified Buyer
A must read
Meaningful for every generation.