Description : In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession's ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified. Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end.
Description : How work gets done in complex health care systems is ethically important. When health care professionals and other staff are pressured to improvise, fix structural problems, or comply with competing policies, the uncertainty and distress they experience have potential consequences for patients, families, colleagues, and the system itself. This book presents a new theory of health care ethics that is grounded in the nature of health care work and how it is shaped by the ever-changing conditions of complex systems, in particular, problems of safety and harm. By exploring workarounds and other improvised practices in complex health care systems that are difficult for professionals to talk about openly, yet have unclear effects, including their value or risk to patients, this book offers a realistic look at our changing health care system and how we can improve the way we manage moral problems arising in the care of the sick. Berlinger argues that health care ethics in complex and changing health care systems should reflect the moral complexity of health care work, analyze common ethical challenges with reference to behaviors and pressures driven by the system itself, and support opportunities for health care professionals and staff at all levels to reflect on the problems they face and to take part in social change. The book's chapters include frameworks for looking at ethical challenges in health care as problems of safety and harm with consequences for patients. Are Workarounds Ethical? is designed to support clinician education in medicine, nursing, and interdisciplinary contexts and recommend methods for integrating ethics, safety, and justice in practice.
Description : In gripping prose, one of the world's leading cardiac surgeons lays bare both the wonder and the horror of a life spent a heartbeat away from death When Stephen Westaby witnessed a patient die on the table during open-heart surgery for the first time, he was struck by the quiet, determined way the surgeons walked away. As he soon understood, this detachment is a crucial survival strategy in a profession where death is only a heartbeat away. In Open Heart, Westaby reflects on over 11,000 surgeries, showing us why the procedures have never become routine and will never be. With astonishing compassion, he recounts harrowing and sometimes hopeful stories from his operating room: we meet a pulseless man who lives with an electric heart pump, an expecting mother who refuses surgery unless the doctors let her pregnancy reach full term, and a baby who gets a heart transplant-only to die once it's in place. For readers of Atul Gawande's Being Mortal and of Henry Marsh's Do No Harm, Open Heart offers a soul-baring account of a life spent in constant confrontation with death.
Description : “My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved. I have been given much and I have given something in return. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.” —Oliver Sacks No writer has succeeded in capturing the medical and human drama of illness as honestly and as eloquently as Oliver Sacks. During the last few months of his life, he wrote a set of essays in which he movingly explored his feelings about completing a life and coming to terms with his own death. “It is the fate of every human being,” Sacks writes, “to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.” Together, these four essays form an ode to the uniqueness of each human being and to gratitude for the gift of life. “Oliver Sacks was like no other clinician, or writer. He was drawn to the homes of the sick, the institutions of the most frail and disabled, the company of the unusual and the ‘abnormal.’ He wanted to see humanity in its many variants and to do so in his own, almost anachronistic way—face to face, over time, away from our burgeoning apparatus of computers and algorithms. And, through his writing, he showed us what he saw.” —Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal
Description : "Gripping, soaring, inspiring."--Atul Gawande, author of Being Mortal For readers of Atul Gawande and Jerome Groopman, a book of beautifully crafted stories about what life is like for patients kept alive by modern medical technology. Modern medicine is a world that glimmers with new technology and cutting-edge research. To the public eye, medical stories often begin with sirens and flashing lights and culminate in survival or death. But these are only the most visible narratives. As a critical care doctor treating people at their sickest, Daniela Lamas is fascinated by a different story: what comes after for those whose lives are extended by days, months, or years as a result of our treatments and technologies? In You Can Stop Humming Now, Lamas explores the complex answers to this question through intimate accounts of patients and their families. A grandfather whose failing heart has been replaced by a battery-operated pump; a salesman who found himself a kidney donor on social media; a college student who survived a near fatal overdose and returned home, alive but not the same; and a young woman navigating an adulthood she never thought she'd live to see -- these moving narratives paint a detailed picture of the fragile border between sickness and health. Riveting, gorgeously told, and deeply personal, You Can Stop Humming Now is a compassionate, uncompromising look at the choices and realities that many of us, and our families, may one day face.