Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 201

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End is a nonfiction book by renowned American surgeon and author, Atul Gawande. The book addresses issues that are not often discussed among healthcare professionals, such as caring for those with terminal illness, the incurable, and the elderly.

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Dr. Gawande claims that the American healthcare system has lost the human touch in helping patients with incurable diseases and the permanently bedridden elderly. He argues that hospitals are modern and innovative when it comes to medical technology and procedures, yet they still provide substandard care for the elderly and those who are dying.

Although the book was written as a compelling argument for changing current healthcare methodologies, another theme in the book that is briefly discussed is health policy. The healthcare system as a whole has become even more bureaucratic over the years, especially as the insurance industry has exerted more influence in the field, and Dr. Gawande argues that systemic changes need to be made along with procedural changes.

Dr. Gawande's main thesis is that quality of life, especially in the final stages of life, should be emphasized over extending life if life extension procedures will only cause further suffering for the patient.

Themes

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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 182

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End was written by American surgeon and prolific author Atul Gawande. It was published in 2014 and became the basis for a PBS...

(The entire section contains 383 words.)

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