"With a fine combination of humor, compassion and vast knowledge, Talya Miron-Shatz offers clear and useful guidance for the hardest decisions of life.” -Daniel Kahneman, Nobel award-winning author of Thinking, Fast and Slow
A top expert on decision-making explains why it’s so hard to make good choices—and what you and your doctor can do to make better ones
In recent years, we have gained unprecedented control over choices about our health. But these choices are hard and often full of psychological traps. As a result, we’re liable to misuse medication, fall for pseudoscientific cure-alls, and undergo needless procedures.
In Your Life Depends on It, Talya Miron-Shatz explores the preventable ways we make bad choices about everything from nutrition to medication, from pregnancy to end-of-life care. She reveals how the medical system can set us up for success or failure and maps a model for better doctor-patient relationships.
Full of new insights and actionable guidance, this book is the definitive guide to making good choices when you can’t afford to make a bad one.
About the Author
Talya Miron-Shatz, PhD., is a leader in research at the intersection of medicine and behavioral economics. She is professor and founding Director of the Center for Medical Decision Making at Ono Academic College in Israel, senior fellow at the Center for Medicine in the Public Interest in New York, and a visiting researcher at the Winton Centre for Risk and Evidence Communication at the University of Cambridge. Miron-Shatz was a post-doctoral researcher at Princeton University, and a lecturer at Wharton, the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of over 60 academic papers on medical decision making. She is CEO of CureMyWay, an international health consulting firm whose clients include Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Samsung. She lives in Jerusalem.
One lesson that covid-19 has taught us is the importance of communicating accurate and clear health information to the public. Messages from healthcare officials and policy makers were devoured daily and used by the public to make key decisions about how to behave and what actions to take. It is therefore a shame that Your Life Depends on It was not published 20 months earlier.
It is precisely the kind of book that everyone—whether they are laypeople, policy makers, or healthcare professionals—would have benefited from reading.
Importantly, the book offers clear and simple guidance and solutions that can be implemented by the three relevant actors: patients, healthcare providers, and the healthcare systems. —Yaniv Hanoch, The British Medical Journal
“The past year has shown that confusion exists prominently in our medical conversations. We need a new guide to navigating these complex decisions, and psychology professor Miron-Shatz is here to provide one.”—Next Big Idea Club
People who expect to stay healthy forever need not read this wonderful book. The rest of us should. With a fine combination of humor, compassion, and vast knowledge, Talya Miron-Shatz offers clear and useful guidance for the hardest decisions of life.—Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-winning author of, Thinking, Fast and Slow
When Talya Miron-Shatz says, ‘Your life depends on it,’ she isn’t kidding! The stakes for medical decision-making are so high, and the circumstances so fraught, that it’s no wonder that most people feel overwhelmed. In this fascinating and engaging book, you’ll learn practical strategies for navigating even the most challenging of decisions. Your Life Depends on It is not just an invaluable guide for patients; it’s also a manifesto for the healthcare system.—Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, NYU School of Medicine and author of, When We Do Harm
This is a fine and very timely book on how to improve the conversation between patients and health professionals, based on the powerful idea of shared decision-making. Full of both great stories and psychological insights, it shows how to put into practice the fundamental principle of ‘nothing about us, without us.’—David Spiegelhalter, University of Cambridge and author of, The Art of Statistics
In Your Life Depends on It, Talya Miron-Shatz combines her unique perspectives on health, choice architecture and behavioral economics to present a work that is not only easy and exciting to read, but full of insights. She includes tips for each of us as health consumers and decision makers as well as for leaders and policy makers. The goal of behavior change in health is a holy grail and this book is a must-read for anyone dedicated to the task of helping us get there.—Joseph Kvedar, MD, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital