Being Mortal (full film) - FRONTLINE


Video from PBS Frontline


"How do you talk about death with a dying loved one? Dr. Atul Gawande explores death, dying and why even doctors struggle to discuss being mortal with patients, in this Emmy-nominated documentary. “Aging and dying — you can’t fix those," says Dr. Gawande. This film examines the relationships between doctors and patients nearing the end of life, and how the medical profession can better help people navigate mortality. The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death but a good life — to the very end." from video introduction


"The United States has a problem when it comes to conversations around death and dying, says Dr. Atul Gawande. Patients with life-threatening illnesses tend to focus on how to beat the steep odds against them, he says, without hearing from their doctors about how certain kinds of treatment might actually worsen their remaining time alive. It’s understandable, says Gawande, but “hope is not a plan.”" from the article: Dr. Atul Gawande: “Hope is Not a Plan” When Doctors, Patients Talk Death


Do you have a plan? Death can come at any time, any day. there are not medications or procedures that cure your death, it will happen. I have watched patients and their families chose treatments that prolong life and prolong suffering. Ask yourself what is there to be gained by being comatose and on a ventilator for long periods of time? Do you have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate Order?), a will? If not do theses things now. Your family attorney and your doctor can help you with them. Make things manageable for your family.

Doctors are human. Medical Science cannot fix everything. Your doctor cannot fix everything. Often patients at deaths door are given false hope by the unrealistic language of doctors and nurses.

As Dr. Gawande says the two things that can't be fixed are aging and dying.

So we are mortal, we will age and get sick and die. We must be prepared and our families must be prepared.

Death is a horrible consequence of the fall, and we should grieve and weep over the devastation it causes on this side of eternity. Death however does not and cannot operate outside the bounds of divine sovereignty.


1 Corinthians 15:54 54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory.

“Beyond all secondary causes, deeper than disease or accident, lies the loving will of him who is the Lord of life and of death.” Alexander MacLaren

We take comfort, not only in trusting God’s higher ways, but in remembering that Jesus is not asking us to go through something he has not endured himself.


Isaiah 55: 8-9

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.


Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Dr. Atul Gawande (link)

atulgawande.com (link)