Neighbors explore ‘Being Mortal’

Feb 17, 2017
Photo by: Tim Llewellyn Dr. Atul Gawande

Stockton Springs — The Stockton Springs Community Library, 6 Station St., resumes its Neighbors Helping Neighbors monthly series with a screening of “Being Mortal,” a PBS “Frontline” documentary, Sunday, Feb. 26, at 2 p.m.

The library began this series last year in response to the growing interest in Aging in Place, a widespread movement geared towards helping senior citizens stay in their homes as long as possible as they age. With the current growing number of elders, this movement has the potential to improve the quality of life for many senior citizens.

Death is something we will all face one day. So why is it so hard for doctors to talk with their patients about dying? How can the medical profession better help people navigate the final chapters of their lives with confidence, direction and purpose? Renowned surgeon and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande explored those questions in his best-selling book, “Being Mortal.”

Gawande teamed with “Frontline” on this documentary that brings his personal journey — and the stories of his patients and their families — to life and challenges viewers to reexamine how we think about death and dying.

Three years in the making, “Being Mortal” explores the relationships between doctors and patients nearing the end of life and shows how many doctors — including Gawande, who practices at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston — struggle to talk honestly and openly with their patients who are dying.

“We find from our trials that we are literally inflicting therapies on people that shorten their lives and increase their suffering, due to an inability to come to good decisions,” Gawande said.

Small group discussions will follow the screening. The program is free and all are welcome. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, visit or call 567-4147.

On March 26, the Neighbors Helping Neighbors series will present Patricia Oh of AARP, who will discuss the benefits and activities of AARP in Waldo County.

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



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