“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film, adapted from Dr. Gawande’s 2014 nationally bestselling book of the same name, investigates the practice of caring for the dying and explores the relationships between patients and their doctors. It follows a surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, as he shares stories from the people and families he encounters. When Dr. Gawande’s own father gets cancer, his search for answers about how best to care for the dying becomes a personal quest.
The film sheds light on how a medical system focused on a cure often leaves out the sensitive conversations that need to happen so a patient’s true wishes can be known and honored at the end.
“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions.
Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70% die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30% have done so.
After the screening, audience members can participate in a conversation about the film facilitated by Dr. Robert Backus, MD. Panelists will include Susanne Shapiro, RN, director of West River Valley Cares Assisted Living; Claire Bemis, RN, clinical coordinator, Grace Cottage Community Health Team; and Joanna Rueter, MSW, coordinator, Taking Steps Brattleboro. Topics will include how to identify and communicate one’s wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.
For more information or to RSVP contact Patty Dunn at (802) 257-0775, ext. 102, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.