Center for Hospice Care Hosts "Dinner and Learn" Screening of "Being Mortal"

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Center for Hospice Care is holding a free, community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” on Thursday, March 23rd at 5:30 pm at its Mishawaka Campus. After the 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.

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Ninety percent of Americans know they should have conversations about end-of-life care, yet only 30 percent have done so.

The PBS Frontline documentary “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.

Center for Hospice Care and its supporting foundation, Hospice Foundation, are hosting a free dinner and learn screening of the documentary as a way to help initiate the tough, but necessary, conversations about end-of-life decisions. Mike Wargo, Hospice Foundation Vice President and COO said, "We chose 'Being Mortal' because it underscores the importance of planning ahead and talking with family members about these important decisions."

Following the screening of the documentary a guided discussion of the film will be led by a panel of end-of-life experts including Mark Sandock, MD, a local physician consultant; Mark Murray, President and CEO of Center for Hospice Care; and Dominic Vachon, Director of the Ruth M. Hillebrand Center for Compassionate Care in Medicine at the University of Notre Dame.

According to recent studies, 70 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 at http://atulgawande.com/book/being-mortal/.

The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America. A complimentary sandwich/soup/salad buffet will be available for those who reserve a seat in advance. Seating is limited. The event will begin at 5:30 pm at Center for Hospice Care, 501 Comfort Pl, Mishawaka, IN.

To RSVP, contact Cyndy Searfoss at 574.277.4203 or at searfossc(at)cfhcare(dot)org.

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