Free Community Event: ‘Being Mortal’ documentary screening and end-of-life discussion in Oakes

The community is invited to attend a free educational event centered on the Emmy-nominated FRONTLINE documentary “Being Mortal.”

The presentation, “Being Mortal: The Whole Story,” is scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 10:30 a.m. at the Oakes Senior Center, 207 S., 5th St., Oakes.

Attendees will screen the documentary and then participate in a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences. Lunch will be served following the program.

This event is free and open to the public with continuing education hours available for nurses and social workers.

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.