Last updated on: 3/8/2017 | Author:

Atul Gawande, MD, MPH Biography

Surgeon at Brigham and Women's Hospital
Pro to the question "Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?"

“Certainly, suffering at the end of life is sometimes unavoidable and unbearable, and helping people end their misery may be necessary. Given the opportunity, I would support laws to provide these kinds of [physician-assisted suicide] prescriptions to people. About half don’t even use their prescription. They are reassured just to know they have this control if they need it. But we damage entire societies if we let providing this capability divert us from improving the lives of the ill. Assisted living is far harder than assisted death, but its possibilities are far greater, as well.”

Being Mortal, 2014

Involvement and Affiliations:
  • Professor, Department of Health Policy and Management, TH Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University
  • Samuel O. Thier Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Executive Director, Ariadne Labs
  • Chairman, Lifebox
  • Fellow, Hastings Center, 2009-present
  • Director, World Health Organization (WHO) program to improve surgical safety, 2007-present
  • MacArthur Fellow, 2006
  • Surgeon, general and endocrine surgery, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2003-present
  • Staff writer, The New Yorker, 1998-present
  • Resident, general surgery, Harvard University, 1995-2003
  • Former Senior Advisor, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Healthcare Lieutenant, Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign
  • MPH, Harvard School of Public Health, 1999
  • MD, Harvard Medical School, 1995
  • MA, Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, Balliol College, University of Oxford, 1989
  • Rhodes Scholar, 1987
  • BAS, Biology and Political Science, Stanford University, 1987
  • Recipient, Massachusett’s Governor’s Award in the Humanities, 2016
  • Recipient, Lew Thomas award, 2014
  • Recipient, National Magazine Award, 2010 and 2011
  • Recipient, AcademyHealth Impact Award, 2010
  • Finalist, National Book Award for Complications, 2002
  • Staff, Al Gore’s 1988 presidential campaign
  • Volunteer, Gary Hart’s 1984 presidential campaign
  • Twitter handle: @Atul_Gawande
  • Born on Nov. 5, 1965 in Brooklyn, New York to Indian immigrant doctors
  • Lives in Massachusetts with his wife and three children
Quoted in:
  1. Should Euthanasia or Physician-Assisted Suicide Be Legal?