Center Director Dr. Tom Tomlinson led a discussion on Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Happens in the End on June 21, 2016 at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in East Lansing. About 40 people attended this free event.
Participants brought a variety of stories of their encounters with end-of-life situations, some quite positive and others not. These inspired a wide range of discussion touching on the themes in the book: recognizing one’s mortality; being able to meet it on your own terms; tensions between preserving personal autonomy and insuring safety for those in need of some care; the failure to disclose and discuss a grim prognosis, and the resulting infliction of unwarranted aggressive treatment; meeting the family’s needs, without losing focus on the patients; and others. The event was organized by the Cantor, Pamela Schiffer, and the Rabbi Amy Bigman attended.