The global pharmaceutical industry swallowing a bitter pill

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr.

The global pharmaceutical industry swallowing a bitter pill

Being Mortal is completely irrelevant for any readers who do not have elderly relations, do not know anyone who is old or in failing health, and do not themselves expect to become old.

Otherwise, this is must-read stuff. Life may be a journey, but all our roads, however long or short, whether express, local or HOV, whether traversed by foot, burro, bus, SUV, monster truck or Star Trek transporter, converge on the same destination, and the quality of those last few miles is something we should all be concerned about.

Old age is not a battle. Old age is a massacre. Atul Gawande, as a doctor, has had considerable exposure to issues of death and dying, but when his father was diagnosed with brain cancer, Gawande was motivated to look into how end of life care was being handled across the board.

Being Mortal is the distillation of what he learned.

The global pharmaceutical industry swallowing a bitter pill

It has not always been thus. Facing the fact that we are all going to die is certainly not a fun notion, but neither is believing we can extend our so-called lives indefinitely.

There really is such a thing as quality of life, and probably should be a thing called quality of death as well. The percentage of the population that is elderly is rising dramatically as boomers enter their our golden years.

So how is the medical profession preparing to meet the booming demand for geriatric care? With the same gusto as a Republican legislature faced with a crumbling infrastructure. They are cutting back. I picture a cinematic bandit with a white coat under his bandolier, "We doan need no steenking geriatricians.

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Although the elderly population is growing rapidly, the number of certified geriatricians the medical profession has put in practice has actually fallen in the United States by 25 percent between and Partly, this has to do with money--incomes in geriatrics and adult primary care are among the lowest in medicine.

Gawande tracks the history of late-life care from the poorhouse to the hospital to the nursing home to the range of options currently available, providing information of the benefits and shortfalls of each. Assisted care comes in for a lot of attention. In America, in the years following the passage of the Social Security Act ofthe number of elderly in poorhouses refused to drop.

States moved to close them but found they could not. Pensions provided a way of allowing the elderly to manage independently as long as possible in their retirement years.

The global pharmaceutical industry swallowing a bitter pill

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