Gawande A. New York, NY: Metropolitan Books; 2014. Hardback; 304 pages. ISBN: 978-0805095159

It is a difficult thing for those of us in health care to admit that quality of life can trump quantity of life. We believe if we are successful at what we do patients will continue to survive and conquer their health care issues. This is especially true in critical care. We rarely see the long-term outcomes of our hard work. We are about the successful 12 or 24 hours; not the long haul.

In this book, Dr Gawande addresses that it is not about our “success” in the battle against disease; rather it is about what the patient and family believe is important. This concept carries difficult lessons as we care for patients, as well as our own friends and family members. We are all mortal in the end.

The book is written as a history,...

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