Upcoming doc focuses on facing mortality

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PINEHURST — Unfortunately no life is complete without death, and for some people, this reality can be difficult to deal with.

Fortunately, Hospice of North Idaho (HNI) will be hosting an event that will allow guests to view a documentary entitled “Being Mortal” that deals with handling these insecurities.

The documentary is based off the book “Being Mortal” by surgeon Atul Gawande.

Gawande penned the book following interviews with multitudes of people about their experience with a life-limiting disease and interviewing their doctors.

The book includes Gawande’s own experience during his father’s decline.

In his book and subsequent documentary, Gawande explains what he learned about tough questions, tough decisions, and the various ways people manage fact, reality and fear in the face of death.

Hospice of North Idaho helps people discover the array of choices they can make now, which helps make the process unfold more gently, which is why HNI social services director Kelly Rey believes that this event is so important.

“‘Being Mortal’ offers an in-depth look at various approaches to the end of life journey, revealing both emotional trials and medical approaches,” Rey said. “Through the example of several families, the film exposes viewers to common choices that we all may face. The film spurs viewers to self-reflect and often kindles ideas about choosing an approach.”

For 36 years, Hospice of North Idaho has been the area’s community hospice.

Last year nearly 4,500 people received hospice care, palliative care, and grief and loss care from this local nonprofit.

Hospice’s approach is to help their patients realize what they most want in their end-of-life experience and to show them the many choices they have.

After the documentary screening, a panel of hospice experts will hear audience questions.

“It’s a profound documentary. We want to be available to answer people’s questions and let them know we are here for them now, and during the end of life journey,” said Kim Ransier, HNI executive director. “We will also give examples of how to begin the conversation.”

Attend the free viewing of “Being Mortal” at 10 a.m. Sept. 13 at the Shoshone Medical Center Outreach Center in Pinehurst.

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