Where I come from it is taboo to talk about death. Even your closest family and friends wouldn’t want to know how you prefer to die. In fact death is such an unacceptable fact of life that the mere act of talking about it is considered as “bad luck”.
In Being Mortal, Atul Gwande walks us through the reality of mortality – through old age and through terminal illness. As an American of Indian descent, he talks about how America as a society takes care of its aged population. As a surgeon, he shares how patients with terminal illness and their families dealt with their situations.
The book touches on a topic not many others dare to discuss; it raises questions others are unable to ask before. What is a decent way to leave this place, for instance? What is a decent way to live in it? How far would you go to prolong a loved one’s life? Would you rather live a life in constant pain or to let go of both?
As much as Being Mortal is thought-provoking, it is also well written and organized. Perhaps because the author is a man of science that he is careful to distinguish facts from opinion. Unless you are a God or a Demi-God who lives on ambrosia, then this book is worth reading.
Would I recommend this book to a friend? Yes.