Doctors are often not ready to talk about death with patients

“All of us will do it,” the Rev. Jeffrey Spencer said. “All of us will die. With any luck, we’ll have a doctor who is ready to talk clearly, compassionately, and honestly with us as that time approaches.”

Counseling people and families as death approaches is an important part of his work, Spencer said, as it is for all clergy serving a local church. “All too often, no one has talked about the dying process – what to expect and what one’s wishes are to make it as comfortable and comforting as possible,” he said.

This is one of the reasons Being Mortal was picked for the Second Saturday Documentary Series. This Frontline documentary will be screened on Saturday, February 13, at 1:30 p.m., at Niles Discovery Church (where Spencer is Senior Pastor), 36600 Niles Blvd., Fremont. The screening is free and open to the public.

Being Mortal follows renowned Boston surgeon Atul Gawande as he explores the relationships doctors have with patients who are nearing the end of life. The film investigates the practice of caring for the dying, and shows how doctors – himself included – are often remarkably untrained, ill-suited, and uncomfortable talking about chronic illness and death with their patients.

A discussion will follow the screening, led by Ron Adamson, a community member of the Washington Hospital Bioethics Committee. “Accepting death is almost impossible and talking about it is even harder,” Adamson said. “This film may help us and our families break the silence and explore what matters most in preparing for the inevitable.”

The Second Saturday Documentary Series is co-sponsored by Niles Discovery Church and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center. This screening is also co-sponsored by Washington Hospital Healthcare Systems, who arranged for the rights to screen the film.

You can print a flyer to help promote this event by clicking here.

This entry was posted in Community, Documentary Series, Mission, Service, Spiritual Journey and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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