‘Being Mortal’ screening planned

Staff report

SIDNEY — Wilson Health Hospice and the Senior Center of Sidney-Shelby County will present a free, community screening of the documentary, “Being Mortal,” June 6, at 5:30 p.m., in the Senior Center, 304 S. West Ave.

A free dinner will be provided. After the screening, audience members can participate in a guided conversation of how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. Advance reservations are required by May 31 and can be made by calling 498-9335.

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and their 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 Gawande’s 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.

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 Gawande’s 2014 nationally best-selling book of the same name. More information about the book is at http://atulgawande.com/book/being-mortal/.

Staff report