Sunday, March 1, 2015

"And our little life is rounded with a sleep."

"The two big unfixables are aging and dying."-Dr. Atul Gawande, Being Mortal

              The New York Times "Best Sellers Nonfiction Books "list for the week of March 8th, 2015 includes the factual account of a former Navy SEAL and the political memoir of a White House campaign strategist. At number five is a courageous examination of aging and death in our society by masterful author and surgeon, Dr.Atul Gawande. Being Mortal has spent 20 weeks on the best sellers list for its illuminating look at a subject most of us refuse to speak of with much honesty or openness.

    "Hope is not a plan. We find from our trials that we are literally inflicting therapies on people that shorten their lives and increase their suffering out of an inability to come to good decisions."

      Dr. Gawande's insightful comments come from professional observations as a physician and the personal experience of losing his own father to cancer. With great compassion Gawanda  focuses both on medical procedures and living conditions in later life. He addresses the reality of those nearing the end making their own choices. Living situations are primarily aimed at "safety" concerns at the expense of retaining autonomy, especially when a spouse or adult children are making the decisions. Dr. Gawande shows us how physical conditions are most often treated as medical crises needing to be callously corrected instead of managing pain and ensuring quality of life. Knowing when a treatment is causing greater suffering or has become futile for a  patient is imperative. Gawande eloquently discusses a topic many people fear and yet must face. Being Mortal has been suggested as required reading for those in the medical health care field but it should be seriously explored and contemplated by anyone who faces mortality- all of us.

New York Times Best Selling Combined E-Book & Nonfiction for the Week of March 8th

  10.    THE BLACK COUNT, by Tom Reiss
    9.    YES PLEASE, by Amy Poehler
    8.    BELIEVER, by David Axelrod
    7.    THUNDERSTRUCK, by Erik Larson
    6.    KILLING PATTON, by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
    5.    BEING MORTAL, by Atul Gawande
    4.    THE BOYS IN THE BOAT, by Daniel James Brown
    3.    WILD, by Cheryl Strayed
    2.    UNBROKEN, by Laura Hillenbrand
    1.   AMERICAN SNIPER, by Chris Kyle with Scott McEwen and Jim DeFelice