healthcare

On Life at the End

“To this he must come pure, at peace, ready to depart, in unforced harmony with his fate.”
Marcus Aurelius

As my parents approach their 7th decade I’m more aware of their advancing age. The awareness came quietly, unwelcome, like shadows at the periphery of my vision. My Dad doesn’t do the back-to-back golf days he used to and my Mom’s knee prevents her walking too far. They’re reluctant to travel, and I live half the world away.

Athul Gawade, in this excellent book Being Mortal, offers a framework to think about advancing age and what matters in the end. A practicing physician, he explores how modern medicine steps in as our bodies being to fail, but ultimately fails to offer us a good life at the very end.

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