The community is invited to attend a free screening of the documentary “Being Mortal” on May 9, 2019, from 6-8 p.m. at Stenshoel-Houske Funeral & Cremation Service located at 615 S. Minnesota Street in Crookston. This event is free and open to the public. Please RSVP at trudy@stenshoelhouske.com or (218) 281-3372.

    After the screening, you can participate in a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.

    The Emmy-nominated 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.

    “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 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.       

    Hospice of the Red River Valley is an independent, not-for-profit hospice serving more than 30 counties in North Dakota and Minnesota. Hospice care is intensive comfort care that alleviates pain and suffering, enhancing the quality of life for patients with life-limiting illnesses and their loved ones by addressing their medical, emotional, spiritual and grief needs. For more information, call toll free 800-237-4629, email questions@hrrv.org or visit www.hrrv.org.