Amid a rapidly aging global population, issues of mortality are increasingly top of mind. And as evidenced when a unanimous Supreme Court (all themselves, over age 50) struck down the criminal prohibition against assisted suicide last week in Canada, social mores of mortality and self-determination are once more in flux.
Death is something we will all one day face. So why is it so hard for doctors to talk about dying with their patients? And how can the medical profession better help people navigate the final chapters of their lives with confidence, direction and purpose?
Tonight on FRONTLINE: Being Mortal, based on the #1 New York Times bestselling book by surgeon and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande.
The film is an intimate look at how, in Gawande’s words, “medicine fails the people it’s supposed to help” — and how doctors and patients can better deal with the end of life.