NMC to Bring Free Screening of Film that Explores End-of-Life Care

Newton Medical Center has partnered with the Newton YMCA to host a free, community screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” on Friday, March 31, 10 a.m. to noon. Following the screening, Dr. Stephen Cranston and licensed social worker Terresia DuBois will host a discussion on what matters most to patients and families facing difficult treatment decisions and how to have these conversations ahead of a medical crisis.

“Being Mortal” delves into the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness. The film, which aired nationally on the PBS program “Frontline,” 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.

“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.

This free screening of “Being Mortal” is being coordinated by Newton Medical Center’s ethics committee and is made possible by a grant from The John and Wauna Harman Foundation in partnership with the Hospice Foundation of America.

 It will take place in Studio A at the Newton YMCA, 701 Wheatridge Drive. No RSVP is needed. For more information, contact Kathy Schrag at 316-804-6065 or visit www.newtonmed.com. 

About Newton Medical Center
Newton Medical Center is a 103-bed hospital in Newton, Kan., providing comprehensive medical care to those in Harvey and surrounding counties. Services and specialties include emergency medicine, surgical services, occupational medicine, home health and more. The hospital, which also includes 12 primary care and specialty clinics, is conveniently located at the intersection of I-135 and Highway 50. For more information, call 316-283-2700 or visit www.newtonmed.com.