Being Mortal is book discussion topic set for April 26

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Dr. Andrew Smith will be a member of the panel discussion on April 26 on the book Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gwande. Books are now available at the Guttenberg Public Library and from other sources. (Photo submitted)

A timely book discussion and panel discussion is happening in Guttenberg. Dr. Atul Gawande’s book, Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Happens in the End, is available to the public for reading in preparation for a panel discussion of the book on  Tuesday, April 26, at Eagle Ridge Independent and Assisted Living in Guttenberg, at a time to be announced at a later date.  

The panel will consist of Dr. Andrew Smith, Pastor Penny Hansel, Nancy Heitman, BSN and Stephens Minister, and a representative of Crossing Rivers Hospice; Mayor Russell Loven will moderate. Those attending are invited to share experiences and ask questions.  There is no cost to attend the panel discussion.

About the book: As the time of death approaches, individuals and families are often faced with difficult personal decisions that seem to pit quality of life against longevity. Should they move to hospice care and seek a peaceful death at home with loved ones?  Or should they risk another treatment, surgery or drug with the possibility of dying in the ICU, hooked up to machines, unable to communicate?  Dr. Gawande’s book grapples with these challenging questions by telling the stories of people who have wrestled with them, and provides a way to “start the conversation.”  

Seventeen books and an audio book on CD are available at the Guttenberg Public Library.  BRIDGES downloads has four copies of the eBook, and two copies of the audio book to download.  BRIDGES may be accessed with a patron’s library card through the library’s catalog page: A podcast of an author interview is available on Also, if you Google the author and book title there are many purchase options online, including free Kindle copies.

This event is coordinated by the GFWC/Iowa Ingleside and Book Clubs, Stephen Ministries and the Guttenberg Public Library. RSVPs to committee members would be helpful to assure space for all who plan to attend. Committee members are Jane Staebler (, Carolyn Hoffmann, Helene Kuempel, Laura Manson, Julie Parker, the Guttenberg Public Library and Juanita Loven (

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