Top critical review
Somethings to Consider toward the End
Reviewed in the United States on November 6, 2015
Book is mostly well written. It is about death and dying, so be prepared to read it when one is in a good frame of mind. It profiles patients who are terminal and how they and their families coped with the specter of death. Doctor Gawande relates the stories of courageous patients nearing the end of their lives. Bear in mind, they are upper middle class, obviously have means at their disposal and even though their prospects are bleak. I wondered what people who do not have the luxury of good insurance and top-notch medical care experience at the end of their lives. Perhaps it is better, not going through the excruciating treatments, frequent hospital stays and non-stop tests, many of which are painful. Maybe poorer patients die sooner but more comfortably? Are they just given 'comfort care' and left alone? Are they well cared for or neglected? The book doesn't address this at all.
However, after reading the book, I made some changes in my medical directions concerning my end care, put my property in my and my heirs names, changed my bank account to POD (Pay on Death) to my only child and made plans to supervise my living arrangements as long as I am conscious and competent to do so. Also, spoke to my Complementary Care doctor about my wishes. However, I understand that what we wish and plan for today my be far different from what actually occurs.
Oh yes, when being treated as a terminal patient, put on make-up. Doctors seem to like that.