Film explores end-of-life care

Valley Hospice and WVU Medicine Reynolds Memorial Hospital are holding a free, community screening of the documentary, “Being Mortal,” from 5-7 p.m. March 23 in the hospital’s Betty Beebe Habig Room.

After the screening, audience members can participate in a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.

Reservations are required and a free dinner will be provided. To register, call Valley Hospice at 740-859-5650 today.

The free screening is made possible by a grant from the John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film 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 patients and families he encounters.

When Gawande’s own father is diagnosed with 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 planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions.

In February 2015, “Being Mortal” aired nationally on the PBS program, “Frontline.” The film is adapted from Gawande’s 2014 best-selling book of the same title.


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