Film screening aims to encourage discussions about end-of-life care

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Visting Nurse of Fort Wayne is hosting a free, community screening of “Being Mortal,” followed by a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.

The event will be held on November 1 at 6 p.m. at the Peggy Murphy Community Grief Center, on 5920 Homestead Rd.

According to the documentary, the federal government estimates that the vast majority of people want to die peacefully in their homes, but 80 percent of the Americans still die in hospitals. Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conservations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.

According to a press release from Visting Nurse, the film, “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.

The documentary first aired nationally on the PBS program “Frontline” in February 2015. For more information about the film, visit PBS. The documentary was adapted from the bestselling book of the same name, written by Dr. Gawande. For more information, visit Being Mortal.