It’s not easy to talk about death and dying, but Be Smart. Be Well. interviewed a few passionate people who agree that we need to start the conversation about end-of-life decisions. Several physicians and former journalist Ellen Goodman sat down and shared their insights and experiences, as did everyday people on the street. Here are a few images from our video shoots and video scenes.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ellen Goodman is co-founder of The Conversation Project and a featured expert in End-of-Life Decisions: Why Aren't We Talking? and End-of-Life Decisions: Can We Talk About It? Goodman started getting public with end-of-life issues after her own painful experience with her mother's descent into dementia. Goodman relates, "She couldn't decide what she wanted for lunch, let alone what she wanted for healthcare."
Jessica McCannon, M.D., pulmonary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, is a featured expert in End-of-Life Decisions: Why Aren't We Talking? and End-of-Life Decisions: Can We Talk About It? McCannon reveals, "In a situation where there hasn't been a conversation, what I witness is unnecessary suffering."
Be Smart. Be Well. interviewed everyday folks about their personal end-of-life experiences. In End-of-Life Decisions: Why Aren't We Talking?, this woman spoke about the consequences of not having had the conversation when her mother fell seriously ill. The daughter recalls, "Should I say that it's okay for her to have two or three other procedures when even the end result is she going to end up passing?"
“Why do we have so many people who are dying in ways that they did not want?” asks Eric Hardt, M.D., Associate Professor at Boston University’s School of Medicine, in End-of-Life Decisions: Why Aren’t We Talking? Dr. Hardt, who regularly pays house calls to dying patients, teaches his medical students how to talk about end-of-life decisions with their patients.
Be Smart. Be Well. interviewed Lachlan Forrow, M.D., Director of Palliative Care Programs at Beth Israel Deaconness Medical Center. In End-of-Life Decisions: Can We Talk About It? Dr. Forrow speaks about the importance of knowing his father's wishes. "I was there within six hours," Dr. Forrow recalls, after his father suffered a heart attack. "It was absolutely clear that he wouldn't want the respirator continued."