Author: Atul Gawande
This is one of the few non-fiction books that I found to be quite interesting. Otherwise most of the times I’ve to make an effort to get through the initial pages and dive deep into it. Sometimes, even at it’s depth it’s hard to keep your interest. Not this one. Probably because of the way the author writes. He just just state statistics and make inferences from them. Sure there are statistics, and there should be for one to believe what the author is saying. However more of the book has anecdotes and stories from real people. That’s what makes the book feel so real.
So what is the book about? Most of us must’ve seen in our families that when people in the family get old and frail and start facing health problems, the immediate reaction of the next of kin is to impose certain rules and regulations for the safety of these aged members of the family. Similarly when they go to the doctor, the doctor’s only reaction is how he/she can fix/mitigate the problem so that the person can live longer. No matter at what cost – emotionally, physically or mentally. What is missing in all these reactions is the concern for the happiness of the person involved. That is the main topic being handled here – safety vs happiness of the old and frail. I must say I never thought of it that way and the book was in some sense an eye opener for me.
Whether or not you agree with what the author says, it definitely gives you a new perspective on this issue and I’m quite sure most of us have never thought of it this way. To me, what he said made a lot of sense. The author himself is a doctor.
I would highly recommend reading this book!