Book Review: “Being Mortal” by Atul Gawande
In short, read this book!
I know you……most won’t read it because the subject scares you – you find it overwhelming or, “depressing.” But, some of you want to think through your choices and understand what matters at the end, whether addressing a current situation or your future concerns, this book is important. I’m an elder law attorney – I talk about this stuff all the time – drafting Health Care Directives, and explaining DNR/DNI, and POLST forms as people face their choices at end-of life. All I can say is: “Read this book!”
There are many books on the subject (not enough, as far as I’m concerned, but many) and this book is getting a lot of attention. It’s written well by an extraordinarily smart, well-respected, and thoughtful man who has years of medical experience and life experience as a physician/surgeon, who through personal experience, attention to his patients’ experiences, study, critical thinking about ethics, medical training and advances in medicine, human nature, history, cultural differences, treatment expectations and assumptions, possibilities and options, and legal changes, swims through the morass of those possibilities and frequent illusions, and looks meaningfully at what matters most to people when the end has arrived – what “quality of life” means to those who are facing their mortality.
I realize that not everyone is built to enjoy reading such books, and many won’t have even gotten this far in this blog entry. But, if you are inclined to read books on this subject because you’re curious, intrigued, or just looking for good information, if you are preparing to draft legal documents and communicate your end-of-life wishes, or if you’re just a thoughtful person who is interested in one of the few universal experiences that every human being will share, read this book! I guarantee that it will assist you in thinking about what is important to you, and help you to understand how to support someone who is experiencing this stage of living.
After you’ve read the book, contact an attorney who you feel confident will assist you in drafting thoughtful and thorough legal documents that clearly express and legally define and validate your decisions and your wishes.
This blog is written by Bridget-Michaele Reischl, Attorney
DECORO LAW OFFICE, PLLC
This blog is not, nor shall it be deemed to be, legal advice or counsel. This blog does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader. It is designed to encourage thoughtful consideration of important legal issues with the expectation that readers will seek professional advice from a licensed attorney.
Contact Bridget-Michaele Reischl at:
DECORO LAW OFFICE, PLLC
6 West 5th Street, Suite 800-D
Saint Paul, MN 55102