Everywhere I see the mistake of ignoring that people have priorities in their lives besides merely surviving another day. Even in severe illness or frailty, people desire connections to others and to purposes of their own choosing. I think we’ve been wrong— I think we’ve been rather limited about what we think our job is in building systems of care for human existence. We think our job is to ensure health and survival, but really it is larger than that. It is to enable wellbeing, and wellbeing is ultimately about sustaining the reasons one wishes to be alive.
Atul Gawande, “The Idea of Wellbeing“, BBC Reith Lecture, 2014-12-16, at 22:36