Exploring the reality of ‘Being Mortal’

Sep 14, 2017
An hour-long documentary based on Dr. Atul Gawande’s book “Being Mortal” will anchor a discussion of end-of-life decisions hosted by the Penobscot Bay YMCA.

Rockport — The Penobscot Bay YMCA, 116 Union St., will host a free public screening of the 2015 “Frontline” documentary “Being Mortal” Thursday, Oct. 19, at 9:30 a.m. The one-hour film will be followed by discussion and refreshments. People are encouraged to register for the free event by calling 236-3375.

The documentary, directed and produced by Thomas Jennings and based on Dr. Atul Gawande’s bestseller, takes viewers behind closed doors to witness intimate and heart-breaking end-of-life conversations among doctors, patients and their families. We see the search for the "sweet spot" where doctors guide patients to just the right balance of treatments and hospice/palliative care, which in some cases provides a better quality of life in whatever time remains.

According to Gawande, medical schools do a great job teaching students how to fix people, but they are not so good at preparing doctors for what he calls "the two big unfixables" — aging and dying.

This screening is made possible by the Davis Foundation; the Palliative Care Program of the Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County General Hospital; and the Penobscot Bay YMCA.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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