Being Mortal By Atul Gawande Analysis

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Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.
-Atul Gawande.

A Reaction Paper.
By - Malay Parekh

Q1. Atul Gawande talks about various culture and the difference in their approach towards the elderly. He starts with talking about how his father adopted to every aspect of American life except the way we treat our elderly. Dr. Gawande talks about how the elders are treated in India. He talks about the time when he went to visit his grandfather. His grandfather had the aging effects on his body like difficulty in hearing other people, need help getting up after sitting, etc. His family helped him with it. The author mentions how the family showed respect by serving him first during eating. Even being old more than a century,
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The author describes the limitation of the medical field. Medical field has progressed a lot in the last 50 years with new technology and with that we have a specific line of treatment for every disease. So, if something is curable, the doctors know what steps to follow to cure the disease. But if you have some disease that is not curable, then all the patients get is experimentation of different treatments with family members trying every treatment the doctors suggest in desperation to save the patient with whatever little hope they have left. Dr. Gawande talks about the case of Sara Monopoli. She was thirty-four years old and 39 weeks pregnant when she was diagnosed with life threatening lung cancer. She and her husband decided to actively manage the tumor. They started chemo and kept changing drug after drug because it did not work. Another patient around eighty years old had end-stage respiratory and kidney failure. Her husband had died long ago with feeding tube and tracheostomy and she saw the pain he had undergone. She did not want to die the same way but her children wanted to try every treatment possible. In the end, she had a permanent tracheostomy, a feeding tube, dialysis catheter attached with her exact opposite of what she wanted. Do the patients want the suffering for prolonging the life even when they know they are going to die? Surveys shows that their main concern is to avoid suffering, strengthening relations, not a burden on other, being mentally …show more content…
The author describes the problems with the current system of long term care and dying. The author describes that the medicine and institutions for the care of sick and old have incorrect view of what is the reason that makes life worth living. The physicians sole focus is on the repair of the body. They have no regards for the quality of life the patient will live after it. The author calls it “Sustenance of Soul”. We have been emphasizing on the wrong qualities important to any person living his end days. We as humans seek a life of worth and purpose. The system designed fails to offer those. Dr. Gawande proposes that hospice care is the alternative to the standard medical practice. In medical practice, the sole goal is to increase the life of the patient at cost of anything. In hospice care, it deploys nurses, doctors, social worker which helps in helping the patients live the life to the fullest. There are benefits of hospice for the patient from what Dr. Gawande explains but the family members would not just accept the situation. They would try to offer the best treatment possible to the patient to extend his life. The only way that more family would opt for hospice care is only when they read official scientific publications which summarizes all the positive outcomes in the patient’s life. The support of the medical community is also very essential for hospice care to spread widely. The hopes look faint in the present but with proper plan and cooperation, enrollees

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