Being Mortal: Dr. Atul Gawande on How U.S. Healthcare Fails to Handle the End of Life

October 7, 2014 2:44 PM

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AARON MATÉ: For all of our advances in medicine, we turn now to a new book that calls for a radical transformation in how we approach the end of life. In his latest book, Dr. Atul Gawande argues that a rigid focus on prolonging life can often undermine what’s best for a dying patient. Dr. Gawande writes, quote, "[M]edical science has rendered obsolete centuries of experience, tradition, and language about our mortality and ... [o]ur reluctance to honestly examine the experience of aging and dying has increased the harm we inflict on people and denied them the basic comforts they most need."

AMY GOODMAN: The book is called Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by our guest, the physician and best-selling author Dr. Atul Gawande, surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, staff writer at The New Yorker, professor at Harvard Medical School. This is his fourth book, w...

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