The United States is experiencing a pendulum swing in end-of-life care.
In 1945 the average American died at home. By the late 1990s, 83 percent were dying in institutions. Now in recent years, 45 percent are dying with hospice care.
Atul Gawande’s latest book, "Being Mortal," delves into the ethics and realities of how we deal with death and dying. In it he weighs the physician’s goal to cure and keep people alive against the patient’s interest in living with dignity and choice. Here, Gawande explores ways that physicians and caregivers can enhance our lives, even at the end.
Gawande is a best-selling author, a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a professor at Harvard.
Town Hall and University Book Store presented this event on Oct. 20, 2014 as part of the Civics series. Sponsors included The Boeing Company, the RealNetworks Foundation, and the True-Brown Foundation.
Thanks to Anna Tatistcheff for this recording