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Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice to present free screening of ‘Being Mortal’ on April 27

Samaritan Healthcare and Hospice is presenting a free community screening of the thought-provoking documentary, “Being Mortal,” which explores the hopes of patients and families facing terminal illness and their relationships with the physicians who treat them.

The screening will take place on April 27 at 7 p.m. at Congregation M’Kor Shalom, in Cherry Hill. After the screening, audience members can participate in a guided conversation on how to take concrete steps to identify and communicate wishes about end-of-life goals and preferences.

“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 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 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. The film is adapted from Gawande’s 2014 nationally best-selling book of the same name.

“Being Mortal” underscores the importance of people planning ahead and talking with family members about end-of-life decisions. Joanne Rosen, Samaritan vice president of marketing and public affairs, says, “In his book, Dr. Gawande says that ‘Hope is not a plan.’ We encourage our community members to be part of a national conversation that brings medical professionals and community members together around the shared responsibility of discussing what matters most to patients and families facing difficult treatment decisions. Samaritan is committed to encouraging everyone to learn how to have these conversations ahead of a medical crisis, preferably at their kitchen table, rather than in the ICU.”

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