Hospice to show film, host discussion


TROY — Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County will hold a free community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” at 2 p.m. Wednesday, March 29, at the Upper Valley Medical Center. Following the screening, audience members are invited to participate in a guided conversation on how to identify and take concrete steps to communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.

In addition to members of the community, social workers and nurses who attend can earn continuing educational credits by attending and participating.

“Being Mortal” examines 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 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 planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions. The film “Being Mortal” originally aired nationally in February of 2015 on the PBS program “Frontline.” For more information about the film, visit www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/being-mortal/. The film is adapted from Dr. Gawande’s 2014 nationally best-selling book of the same name.

Seventy percent of Americans say they would prefer to die at home, but nearly 70 percent die in hospitals and institutions. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.

The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership Ohio’s Hospice of Miami County. There is no cost to attend. Advance registration is required online at www.ohioshospice.org. Registrants will also be entered to win copies of the book “Being Mortal” which will be given away at the presentation.