Life Saving or Life Giving

Cover of Atul Gawande's book "Bring Mortal"Canaan UCC will begin a six-week community reading program of Atul Gawande’s book “Being Mortal.” It will take place on Friday mornings beginning on May 17 at 9:30 AM and run on consecutive Fridays through June 21.

Gawande, a surgeon, realized that the typical practice of medicine pushes aside mortality, which can lead to aggressive treatment towards the end of life. Many of us have stories of people we knew whose aggressive medical interventions, though lifesaving, brought a diminished quality of life. The book covers many people and situations to frame life while living with physical decline. Poignantly, as a thread, he wrote about his father, also a surgeon, who facing his own life-threatening condition found meaning for his life, even as his surgical days ended.

The Rev. Quentin Chin, Canaan’s pastor, will lead these sessions. Rev. Chin has served HospiceCare in the Berkshires as a spiritual counselor for over thirteen years. He has walked with people through the end of their lives regardless of their religious beliefs, even people with no belief. He believes that when we come to grasp fully the reality of our mortality, our lives will be richer leading to a more fulfilling life.

Participants should purchase their own copy and read chapter one before the first session. If you would like to attend, but cannot attend all of them, come anyway.