Free screening of “Being Mortal” to explore end-of-life care

Dr. Atul Gawande. Photo by Tim Llewellyn.

PUTNEY, Vt. – On May 9, 2018 from 6:30-8:30 p.m., Brattleboro Area Hospice will partner with Putney Cares to host a community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal.” After the screening, audience members can participate in a facilitated conversation about the film, including a focus on the importance of talking about and planning your healthcare wishes throughout one’s lifespan. The program will include a panel of experts who will participate in the conversation. The event will take place at the Putney Public Library at 55 Main St. in Putney, Vt.

“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 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.

“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people 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 The film is adapted from Dr. Gawande’s 2014 nationally bestselling book of the same name. More information about the book is at

The free screening is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

For more information or to RSVP to the “Being Mortal” screening and community conversation, please contact Abby Jacobson at 802-387-5593 or

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