Saturday, March 7, 2015

The wisdom of Atul Gawande

“We imagine that we can wait until the doctors tell us that there is nothing more they can do.
             But rarely is there nothing more that doctors can do…                                    there’s always something.”

Dr. Atul Gawande (b. 1965)
American surgeon, author

Dr. Gawande continues the thought, observing that more “treatment” often is incompatible with a terminally ill patient’s personal desires and expectations about how to spend the remaining time in ways that are most satisfying, for the patient and for loved ones.(1)

This is his message: more treatment doesn’t necessarily make life better or longer.

Read his book.

If you can, read it before you get to your own end time.

Then talk about it, with your doctor, your friends and your family.


(1) Atul Gawande, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (New York: Metropolitan Books, Henry Holt and Company, 2014), 173-74.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015

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