Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Theft of Memory - Jonathan Kozol

It is hard not to be moved by this memoir, as Jonathan Kozols father Dr Harry Kozol, a noted psychiatrist is affected by  advancing memory loss. We meet him when he is beginning to realize that his memory is failing, as his notes become more confused and continue as he gradually loses more functions, requiring assistance in walking, bathing and eating.   He obviously loves his parents, and his care of them is top notch, continuing to visit both of his elderly parents on a regular basis and supporting them as they age.

The book left me with some important impressions - the importance of discussing with your loved ones about what their wishes are as they age, what would be acceptable for them, what they would want if they were unable to make choices for themselves, that discussing a dnr (do not resusitate) order with next of kin is not about doctors wanting to save money or be lazy - but is about letting nature take its course and allowing a patient (especially a frail elderly patient with a limited quality of life) a natural death rather than violently doing cpr and other interventions that may just prolong the process.

I would certainly recommend that if you read this book, make sure you read Atul Gawandes fabulous book Being Mortal.  4/5

1 comment:

KB said...

Sounds like a memoir I will add to my reading list. Thanks for the review.