Atul Gawande: Letting Go

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Vincent Lo
Miss Sorman
English 1A
22 October 2012
Critical Reading and Response on the Article “Letting Go”
In the article “Letting Go” that was being published in The New Yorker, Atul Gawande addresses the issues regarding to the current medical care system that fails to meet the needs of the patients with terminal illness. Gawande points out that the patients want to spend more quality time with their family members and having some special last moments rather than struggling to stay alive when they know that the chances are thin. Knowing the time to let go was one of the crucial part of the art of dying which people nowadays has forgotten. Gawande argues that choosing the hospice care would sometimes be a better choice for the terminally ill patients. He uses statistics such that the patients that choose hospice lives longer or than other patients and they tend to suffer lesser to support his argument. Hospice care tends to go with less pain treatment and focuses on the needs of the patients. It increases the quality of life of the patients during the last moments of their live. The patients’ family members are less likely to suffer from depression when they have chosen to go with the hospice care mainly because they have prepared themselves to face the death of the patient when time has come.

Gawande’s argument is that the medical care system nowadays fails to meet the needs of the patients. His argument is convincing because he appeals to the emotions of his reader through both his own and others experience and statistics.

Gawande reels in his readers’ attention and interest through some of the real life experience before he educates them. That makes it easier for the readers to absorb what Gawande is trying to deliver to his audience. In order to make it even more convincing, Gawande uses two extreme cases as a comparison to prove his point that hospice care would be the better choice for terminally ill patients. He uses the story of the “lucky”...
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