Join The New School at Commonweal host Steve Heilig in conversation with physician, author, and medical ethicist Sunita Puri in the next talk in the End-of-Life Conversations series. In her new book, That Good Night: Life and Medicine in the Eleventh Hour, she weaves evocative stories of her family and the patients she cares for in a meditation on impermanence and the role of medicine in helping us to live and die well.
“A profound meditation on a problem many of us will face; worthy of being mentioned in the same breath as Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal.” -- Kirkus Reviews
About That Good Night:
As the American born daughter of immigrants, Dr. Sunita Puri knew from a young age that the gulf between her parents' experiences and her own was impossible to bridge, save for two elements: medicine and spirituality. Between days spent waiting for her mother, an anesthesiologist, to exit the OR, and evenings spent in conversation with her parents about their faith, Puri witnessed the tension between medicine's impulse to preserve life at all costs and a spiritual embrace of life's temporality. And it was that tension that eventually drew Puri, a passionate but unsatisfied medical student, to palliative medicine--a new specialty attempting to translate the border between medical intervention and quality-of-life care.
Interweaving evocative stories of Puri's family and the patients she cares for, That Good Night is a stunning meditation on impermanence and the role of medicine in helping us to live and die well, arming readers with information that will transform how we communicate with our doctors about what matters most to us.
About Sunita Puri:
Sunita Puri is an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the University of Southern California, and medical director of palliative medicine at the Keck Hospital and Norris Cancer Center. She has published essays in The New York Times, Slate, The Journal of the American Medical Association, and JAMA-Internal Medicine. She lives in Los Angeles.