Film Explores End-of-Life Care

Tuesday, February 21, 2017, 6:00-8:00 PM Strassweg Auditorium

The New Albany-Floyd County Public Library is holding a free, community screening and discussion of the PBS documentary Being Mortal on Tuesday, February 21, 2017, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM in Strassweg Auditorium, located in the lower level of the Library. After the one-hour 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. The discussion panel will include Julie Hammond, RN (17 years with Hosparus Southern Indiana); Jeff Crouch, MDiv (Chaplain with Hosparus); P. Micheal Summers, JD (Attorney at Law); and Carrie Rogers, MSW, LSW (Diversicare of Providence). Cassidy Carty, Manager of Community Outreach with Hosparus Southern Indiana, will moderate the discussion.

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 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 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.

In February 2015, Being Mortal aired nationally on the PBS program Frontline. For more information about the film, visit http://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. More information about the book is available at http://atulgawande.com/book/being-mortal/.

This free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America. For more information about the Being Mortal screening and discussion, please contact Library staff member Laura Wilkins at 812-949-4405 or lwilkins@nafclibrary.org. No registration is required to attend.