Rethinking Aging: Growing Old and Living Well in an Overtreated Society

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For those fortunate enough to reside in the developed world, death before reaching a ripe old age is a tragedy, not a fact of life. Although aging and dying are not diseases, older citizens are subject to the most egregious marketing in the name of successful aging and long life, as if both are commodities. In Rethinking Aging, Nortin M. Hadler examines health-care choices offered to aging individuals and argues that too often the choices serve to profit the provider rather than benefit the recipient, leading to the medicalisation of everyday ailments and blatant overtreatment. Rethinking Aging forewarns and arms readers with evidence-based insights that facilitate health-promoting decision-making. Over the past decade, Hadler has established himself as a leading voice among those who approach the menu of health-care choices with informed scepticism. Only the rigorous demonstration of efficacy is adequate reassurance of a treatment's value, he argues; if it cannot be shown that a particular treatment will benefit the patient, one should proceed with caution. In Rethinking aging, Hadler offers a doctor's perspective on the medical literature as well as his long clinical experience to help readers assess their health-care options and make informed medical choices in the last decades of life. The challenges of aging and dying, he eloquently assures us, can be faced with sophistication, confidence and grace.

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