Medicine has transformed the dangers of birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering produced by medicine's neglect of the wishes people might have beyond mere survival. To find out what those wishes are, we need to ask. We haven't been asking, but we can learn. This book shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life...all the way to the very end.