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End of Life, Assisted Suicide, Death & Dying Documentaries


Produced by: FRONTLINE. PBS.

Documentary Frontline The Suicide Plan


"During the filmmaking, we found ourselves swinging back and forth on the issue in all sorts of ways and we wanted the viewer also to be challenged emotionally and intellectually. So we included a range of cases - from people who are terminally ill to the more complicated cases that involve Alzheimer's and mental illness."

- Miri Navasky source: -

"In 'The Suicide Plan'…filmmakers Miri Navasky and Karen O'Connor take viewers inside the surprisingly coordinated underground world of assisted suicide in the United States. It's a story told from the perspective of those choosing to end their lives, the activists who put themselves in legal jeopardy by helping others to die, and the law enforcement officials trying to stop the practice that remains illegal in every state except Washington and Oregon."Other films on death and dying and aging by Miri Navasky and Karen O'Connor include: 'Living Old, 'The Undertaking' and
'Facing Death'.

Find out more about the documentary "The Suicide Plan"


Produced by: Annette Clarke, National Film Board of Canada. NFB.
Directed by: Tim Wilson.

Documentary Griefwalker National Film Board Canada NFB


"But the key the real skill to being grateful is not to be grateful for the stuff that benefits you, that's easy. What about being grateful for the stuff that didn't benefit you in the least but you're grateful that its in the world, and now you're getting somewhere. Now you're seeing the big story. Now you're willing for life to be bigger than your life span or your children's life span.
Now you're getting somewhere."

- -Stephen Jenkinson source: Film Griefwalker.

"This documentary introduces us to Stephen Jenkinson, the leader of a palliative care counselling team at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital. Through his daytime job, he has been at the deathbed of well over 1,000 people. What he sees over and over, he says, is 'a wretched anxiety and an existential terror' even when there is no pain. Indicting the practice of palliative care itself, he has made it his life's mission to change the way we die -to turn the act of dying from denial and resistance into an essential part of life."

"Stephen Jenkinson, a Harvard educated theologian, is one of Canada's leading palliative care educators. Also considered a philosopher, woodsman, boatsman, and bard, Jenkinson travels throughout Canada providing grief counseling. He rejects the notion of acceptance, deeming it too neutral a disposition. He insists the one true answer is an embrace of death. In order to love life, we need to love death. Filmmaker and friend Tim Wilson presents Jenkinson with an unclouded eye. Appearing onscreen together, their relationship is complex and occasionally combative. Reverent and respectful but clearly obsessed with death, Jenkinson is an enigmatic figure who can easily shift from talkative to terse. Captured with a cinematic eye, this lyrical, haunting documentary exhibits an unparalleled understanding of mortality."

Find out more about the documentary "Griefwalker"


Produced by: Showtime.

Documentary Time of Death Showtime


"We live in a death denying culture and I don't want it to be that way."

–Lenore, Documentary Participant 'Time of Death.' source:

"What are the final weeks, days and very moments of life really like? 'Time of Death' offers an unflinching, intimate look at remarkable people facing their own mortality. Cameras follow these brave, terminally ill individuals as they live out the end of their lives, supported by family, friends, and dedicated healthcare and hospice workers who gently guide the process. This groundbreaking documentary series provides a tangible, hopeful reminder of the finite nature of our time here on earth."

Find out more about the documentary "Time of Death"


Produced by: PBS FRONTLINE, Miri Navasky, Karen O'Connor.

Documentary Frontline Facing Death


"How far would you go to sustain the life of someone you love, or your own? When the moment comes, and you're confronted with the prospect of "pulling the plug," do you know how you'll respond? In "Facing Death," FRONTLINE gains extraordinary access to The Mount Sinai Medical Center, one of New York's biggest hospitals, to take a closer measure of today's complicated end-of-life decisions. In this intimate, groundbreaking film, doctors, patients and families speak with remarkable candor about the increasingly difficult choices people are making at the end of life: when to remove a breathing tube in the ICU; when to continue treatment for patients with aggressive blood cancers; when to perform a surgery; and when to call for hospice."

Find out more about the documentary "In Facing Death"


Produced and Directed by: Charlie Russell, Terry Pratchett, BBC Scottland.

Documentary Choosing to Die

"Sir Terry Pratchett has defended his BBC2 documentary, which showed the death of a millionaire hotelier suffering from motor neurone disease, against criticism from groups opposed to assisted dying. In 'Choosing to Die,' screened on Monday night, the 63-year-old writer, who has Alzheimer's disease, went to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to see Peter Smedley take a lethal dose of barbiturates. Michael Nazir-Ali, the retired Bishop of Rochester condemned the programme as 'science fiction', while Care not Killing (CNK) described it as "a recipe for elder abuse and also a threat to vulnerable people."
-The Guardian

"In 'Choosing to Die' (BBC Two), Pratchett sensitively tackled the extremely complicated issue of euthanasia. He declared from the outset that, in his opinion, the timing of his death should be his choice, not the government's. Pratchett's condition has reached a stage where he can no longer type so, as we saw, is dictating his new novel Snuff to his assistant, Rob Wilkins. It was through Wilkins that some of the film's balance was found. He is clearly uncomfortable with the idea of assisted death and, when they visited the Swiss euthanasia group Dignitas, he decisively commented, 'It feels so wrong.' However, this was Pratchett's film and the argument he put forward here was that assisted suicide for the terminally ill should be legal in the UK – a view that has naturally drawn criticism from an anti-euthanasia group."

Find out more about the documentary "Choosing to Die"


Produced by: Journey Man Productions.

Documentary Live and Let Die


"On average, at least 10 terminally ill people legally die by euthanasia every day in Holland – a figure that would provoke outrage and controversy in most societies. The Dutch claim that doctor assisted suicide is already widely practiced throughout the West, but they just don't acknowledge it. "In other countries they don't talk about it – we do," says Dr Aycke Smook. It is the Dutch policy of tolerance that has allowed euthanasia to, gain broad support. However, unease remains about what the Dutch have done, even amongst those who believe euthanasia should be an option. They are concerned that unless society shows more compassion, the elderly and infirm may begin to feel forced towards euthanasia for lack of alternatives. "We should be very careful not to talk about euthanasia as a normal way to end your life," comments Clemence Ross of the Christian Democrats."

Find out more about the documentary "Live and Let Die"


Produced by: Journey Man Productions.

Documentary Final Call


"Should the old be allowed to kill themselves when they feel their time has come? Meet the pensioners who have smuggled illegal poisons from Mexico or turned their gardens into laboratories to make drugs. They're not ill or handicapped, they regard suicide as a final act of self determination. But opponents claim they have been conditioned to think this way by a society which values youth."

-source:, Final Call, The Film,

"I do not want to be locked up in a nursing home where all you get is bingo and sing-songs", states Ruth Mackinnon. Doctors worry that the popularity of the right to death movement reflects a growing view that to be old and in need of care is to lack dignity and be a burden…. Thanks to medical advances, people can now live on for years after a stroke or heart-attack. Is it naïve and patronizing to discount the feelings of those who choose death over dependency on others? Or will condoning suicide simply create more stigma about aging and lead to people being pressured to kill themselves? As the population of the Western world ages, the euthanasia debate can only get more topical."

Find out more about the documentary "Final Call"


Produced by: AlJazeeraEnglish
Directed by: Josh Rushing

Documentary Fault Lines Dying Inside Elderly in Prisions


"…which raises the question, if prisoners with dementia can't remember the crimes they committed, how can they be rehabilitated?"
–Fault Lines Dying Inside: Elderly in Prison

"The US' massive prison population is getting older. Long sentences that were handed out decades ago are catching up with the American justice system. Prisons across the country are dedicating entire units just to house the elderly. During difficult economic times, the issue has hit a crisis point. Estimates are that locking up an older inmate costs three times as much as a younger one. How are prisons dealing with this issue? Who are the prisoners that are turning gray behind bars? Josh Rushing gains exclusive and unprecedented access to jails and prisons across the country to tell the story."
source: aljazerraenglish

Find out more about the documentary "Fault Lines Dying Inside: Elderly in Prison"


Produced by: Open Society Institute Center on Crime, Communities & Culture and the Project on Death in America.
Directed by: Edgar Barens.

Documentary Angola Prison Hospice: Opening the Door


A prison hospice uses inmate volunteers to assist and comfort dying prisoners.

"In our death awareness training some of the questions we asked [to prisoners] was what was your first experience with death…one of the inmates raised his hand and he said, well I have to tell you, for some of us the first experience with death was with the person we murdered."
-Staff Member Angola Prison.


"I did a lot of wrong, I hurt a lot of people out there and when I heard about hospice it was in my heart to join because I said this would be my way of giving back to society, can't tell those people that I was sorry for what I done the ones that's living you know they wouldn't want to hear it, so instead of me talking about it I'd rather be doing something about it."
- Prisoner and Hospice Volunteer.

"Half of the 5,000 inmates at the maximum-security Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola are serving life sentences, and it is estimated that 85 percent of them will grow old and die there. Edgar Barens's documentary examines one of the nation's first prison-based hospice programs, a program that notably incorporates inmate volunteers into the care of other dying inmates."

Find out more about the documentary "Angola Prison Hospice: Opening the Door"


Produced and Directed by: Edgar Barens.

Documentary Prison Terminal


"…It is estimated that 20% of the U.S. prison population will be elderly by 2025."
–Prison Terminal

" 'Prison Terminal' is a moving cinema verité documentary that breaks through the walls of one of America's oldest maximum security prisons to tell the story of the final months in the life of a terminally ill prisoner and the trained hospice volunteers—they themselves prisoners—who care for him. The film draws from footage shot over a six-month period behind the walls of the Iowa State Penitentiary entering the personal lives of the prisoners as they build a prison-based, prisoner-staffed hospice program from the ground up. 'Prison Terminal' demonstrates the fragility, as well as the holistic benefits, of a prison-based, prisoner-staffed hospice program and provides a fascinating and often poignant account of how the hospice experience can profoundly touch even the forsaken lives of the incarcerated."
source: Prison Terminal.

Find out more about the documentary "Prison Terminal"


Produced and Directed by: Tim Gruber.

Documentary Served Out Aging and Dying Behind Bars


" 'Served Out: Aging and Dying Behind Bars' documents a world that is made up of inmates that are weathered beyond their years. Many of these men struggle with simple tasks, like remembering the date, feeding themselves or even leaving their bed. Beyond the loss of their physical and mental independence many fight with keeping their hope alive. Forgiveness, hope and a sense of independence are not easily found behind bars. “Hope is all we have. We have to keep some kind of hope if we don’t we’ll surely perish,” said inmate Thomas Jones of coming to terms with a life behind bars."

Find out more about the documentary "Served Out: Aging and Dying Behind Bars"


Produced and Directed by: Peter D. Richardon.
Produced by: HBO Documentary Films.

Documentary How to Die in Oregon

"I'm actually going to take a pen and write a prescription for something that will end someone's life."
–How to Die in Oregon

"Death with dignity... the other side calls it assisted suicide."
–How to Die in Oregon

"In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. As a result, any individual whom two physicians diagnose as having less than six months to live can lawfully request a fatal dose of barbiturate to end his or her life. Since 1994, more than 500 Oregonians have taken their mortality into their own hands. In How to Die in Oregon, filmmaker Peter Richardson gently enters the lives of the terminally ill as they consider whether – and when – to end their lives by lethal overdose. Richardson examines both sides of this complex, emotionally charged issue. What emerges is a life-affirming, staggeringly powerful portrait of what it means to die with dignity."

Find out more about the documentary "How to Die in Oregon"


Produced by: Leslie Koren Shani Hashaviah.
Directed by: Lily Henderson.

Documentary Lessons for the Living

"Volunteering takes away all the mystery about dying."
–Kathleeen, Lessons for Living - The film.

"Lessons for the Living reveals a unique subculture of Hospice volunteers as they reflect on their experiences and philosophies of life and death. Among them, a teenager escapes from the drama of high school, a hard-edged corporate lawyer searches for meaning and a terminally ill woman faces her own death with unexpected humor and grace."

Find out more about the documentary "Lessons for the Living"


Produced by: Karen van Vuuren & Francesca Nicosia, Dying Wish Media.
Directed by: Karen van Vuuren.

Documentary Dying Wish

"Hospice patient, Michael died in September 2007 - on the 13th day of his fast.
Due to terminal pancreatic cancer, his body had already begun the process of shutting down. He was unable to retain food without medication and had already accessed hospice services. It was at this point that he called the news editor of a Boulder, Colorado-based community radio station (KGNU- 88.5 FM) to ask if a reporter would be interested in documenting his death. He planned to stop eating and drinking the next day."

"Michael's "dying wish" was to show others that what is called 'patient refusal of nutrition and hydration' resulted in a gentle death. His own research showed relatively little information on stopping drinking and eating at the end of a terminal illness. What little research he found indicated a more humane end. Michael wanted to dispel common misconceptions that the dying person feels hunger and thirst once they choose this very natural route to an expected death." source: dyingwishmedia

Find out more about the documentary "Dying Wish"


Produced by: Karen Cantor, Chris Gavin. Singing Wolf Documentaries.

Documentary Last Rights Facing End of Life Choices

"Family members of four terminally-ill patients share riveting personal stories about their loved ones' choices. Viewers learn about the complicated and emotional process surrounding very final decisions. Experts echo and amplify salient points."

" 'Last Rights: Facing End-of-Life Choices,' features physician, Scott Nelson, MD from Cleveland, MS, whose own father, Elbert Nelson, had suffered a terminal illness narrates the film.
Relatives of the other three main characters tell their stories about the now-deceased patients: Merian Frederick, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, who was succumbing to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), an incurable and fatal disease; Peggy Sutherland in Oregon, terminally ill with lung cancer, and Doug Gladstone in Maryland, dying from liver cancer, spending his last days at home. His wife of 25 years tells about what she sees as a 'typical hospice experience.' The youngest daughters of Peggy Sutherland and Merian Frederick talk about their mothers' hastened deaths – one sanctioned by law and the other illegal. Each shares riveting personal stories about their loved ones' final days and the decisions they made. Expert commentary is woven throughout the film to help viewers understand divergent viewpoints: religious, medical, philosophical, legal, and personal."

Find out more about the documentary "Last Rights: Facing End-Of-Life Choices"


Produced and Directed by: Lisa R. Cohen.
Produced by: Lightworks Pictures in association with KPI, The Oprah Winfrey Network Original Documentaries. Narration by: Forest Whitaker

One Last Shot


"…'One last shot' reveals the humanity that exists inside each and every
one of us."

–Forest Whitaker

" 'One Last Shot' takes viewers inside Louisiana's maximum security prison at Angola, where the average sentence is more than 90 years. The prisoners within its walls are the worst of the worst—rapists, kidnappers and murderers. With prison sentences so long, 85 percent will never again live in the outside world. Instead, they will grow old and die in Angola. "One Last Shot" documents an extraordinary hospice program where hardened criminals care for their dying fellow inmates. In doing so, they embark on a journey that may end in personal rehabilitation.

" 'One last shot' reveals the humanity that exists inside each and every one of us,said " Whitaker. "In the Angola prison's hospice, we meet inmates who decide to take an opportunity for redemption, reminding us of the connection that exists between each and every human being." The volunteers are trained, pushed and tested. Some fail, but some succeed and discover that the human touch can reach the soul. "I thought maybe if I helped somebody else," one inmate says, "that would help relieve some of the guilt." At Angola prison in Louisiana, the average sentence is more than 90 years; 85 percent of its hardened criminals will die within its walls. 'One Last Shot,' narrated and executive-produced by Forest Whitaker, offers a glimpse of an innovative hospice program that allows convicts to care for dying inmates—an experience that reconnects them to their humanity."

Find out more about the documentary "One Last Shot"


Produced by: KBTC.

Documentary In My Time of Dying


"Most of the patients and families I work with think of life as this is the end point of their time on earth, and I think they mostly look at it with a great deal of fear and terror because I think that most patients feel a little isolated feel a little like they are getting put on the iceberg and pushed away.

So what I see is a number of patients and families who spend all their energy at the end of life resisting death and then feel like when they finally must accept it that its some kind of a defeat, it feels like a defeat."
"In My Time of Dying"

"In My Time of Dying explores the way we approach the end of life in America. Medical experts and spiritual leaders are woven together with intimate portraits of people facing imminent death. The result is a unique and important conversation about how we meet death, how we support our loved ones in their time of dying, how we cultivate hope in these times, and how to engage in conversations."

Find out more about the documentary "In My Time of Dying"


Produced by Solstice Films.

Documentary Matter of Time


"Nurses and volunteers in hospice deal with dying patients everyday. How do they cope with so much loss? How do they face grieving families and dying people in pain day after day? It's not easy. 'But in A Matter of Time' you will find out how they do it."

Find out more about the documentary "A Matter of Time"


Produced by: Moonshine Movies.
Developed in part with the Lien Foundation's "Life Before Death Campaign."
Developed with the assistance of Screen Australia and Film Victoria, and supported by the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

Documentary Life Before Death


"80 % of the people who died last year died in needless pain."
-Life Before Death - The Film

" 'LIFE Before Death' is a multi-award winning documentary series that asks the fundamental question underpinning our mortality. This beautifully filmed journey takes us to 11 countries as we follow the remarkable health care professionals battling the sweeping epidemic of pain that threatens to condemn one in every ten of us to an agonizing and shameful death. Through the eyes of patients and their families we discover the inherent humanity that empowers the best of us to care for those beyond cure. This is an intimate hopeful and life-affirming collection of stories about living well and dying better, advocating for making the most of every moment in our life before death."

The objective of the Lien Foundation's "Life Before Death Campaign" is to dismantle the taboos surrounding Death & Dying by encouraging people to openly talk about Death and place the concept of dying in a more positive, empowering light. Life Before Death Campaign hopes to break the silence surrounding end-of-life issues, raise awareness about hospice palliative care, and improve care for the dying.

" 'LIFE Before Death' clips are freely available to any pain, palliative care, hospice and end of life health professionals around the world to download here and use for training and advocacy.

Find out more about the documentary "Life Before Death"


Produced and Directed by: Kimberly Nunez-North and Travis North. Passion Projects.

Documentary The Space Between


"...Additionally, most hospitals do not offer Palliative care, an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing patients’ suffering."

"…Kenya is one of the poorest nations, with more than half of the country living under the poverty line. Most can't afford medical treatment so they die alone and in pain. For those who can enter the public hospitals, a painful existence awaits them as well: understaffed hospitals with minimal resources and multiple patients sharing a bed. Additionally, most hospitals do not offer Palliative care, an area of healthcare that focuses on relieving and preventing patients' suffering."

" 'The Space Between'…profiles 4 guests at The Living Room hospice as well as Juli McGowan Boit, a nurse practitioner and HIV volunteer in rural Kenya who was inspired to partner with local leaders to found the hospice."

"In 2010, the Human Rights Watch released a report entitled Needless Pain: Government Failure to Provide Palliative Care for Children in Kenya. The report exposed, what is already well known to us on the ground, that Kenyan children and adults with diseases such as cancer or HIV/AIDS are unable to get palliative care or pain medication. Julianne Kippenberg, senior children's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch said: 'Kenyan children with cancer or AIDS are living, and dying, in horrible agony. Pain medicines are cheap, safe, and effective, and the government should make sure that children who need them get them.' "

Find out more about the documentary "The Space Between"


Produced by Journey Man Productions.

 A Dignified End


"I want to die. I'm not allowed to but I want to"
-A Dignified End- The Film

"Obbe Terpstra is 86. He has no terminal illness but his quality of life is deteriorating, he wants to die in a dignified way. This exclusive report follows him as he prepares to commit suicide. 'I want to die. I am not allowed but I want to', states Obbe Terpstra. He watched his wife die of cancer and doesn't want to end up like that. But helping someone commit suicide is a criminal offence. His son, Albert, knows of his plans but hasn't been involved with the preparations. 'He doesn't want us to see him as a drooling old man. He wants us to remember him as he is now.' A month later, Obbe swallows barbiturates. 'He was extremely happy. The atmosphere was like a birthday party,' recalls Albert. By sharing their story, Albert and Obbe hope they will re-open the debate on euthanasia."

Find out more about the documentary "A Dignified End"


Produced by: Trish Duke.

Documentary Dying to Live


"Last Sunday I thought that was the day, or the evening so sometimes I feel like unh unh today's the day I better tell Lynn to check me in the morning but then I open my eyes and I'm here again.
– David , "Dying to Live - Documentary Series."

"Three hours of honest and intimate footage brings us into the homes of patients and families who openly share how they faced the rollercoaster ride from diagnosis through the progression of a terminal disease...they talk about common fears and struggles, how they coped…or didn't, thoughts of suicide, funerals, reactions of friends and family…and more."

Find out more about the documentary "Dying to Live - Documentary Series"


Produced by: BBC 4.

"…art historian Dan Cruickshank confronts the unavoidable issue of his own certain death, whether soon or far in the future. His mission, in this largely secular age, is to see if art can offer either comfort or explanation in the face of the greatest unknown of all…. and, in a television first, Dan persuades the BBC's obituary department to let him see his own obituary - an experience he rather regrets. As he comments: 'In the making of this programme I have confronted what most of us avoid in daily life. Nothing will ever be the same for me after this.' "

Find out more about the "The Art of Dying"


Produced by: Terence McKeown, Directed by: John Zaritsky
Documentary Frontline Suicide Tourist


Do we have the right to end our lives if life itself becomes unbearable, or when we enter the late-stages of painful, terminal illness? The questions, debated for centuries, have only grown more pressing in recent years as medical technology has allowed us to live longer lives, and several U.S. states have legalized physician-assisted suicide. With unique access to Dignitas, the Swiss non-profit that has helped over one thousand people die since 1998, Academy award- winning filmmaker John Zaritsky offers a revealing look at two different couples facing the most difficult decision of their lives-and lets us see for ourselves as one Chicago native makes the trip to Switzerland for what will become the last day of his life. source:

Find out more about the documentary "Suicide Tourist"


Produced by: Journey Man Productions.
Documentary A Good Death


"What do you do when you're told you're going to die? In this heart-rending documentary four Australians face this very question, as they search for that elusive good death. 'I mean we talk about the journey of life ... Well what about the journey of death?' asks one terminally ill patient. Unfortunately, while so often this journey begins with defiance, the sad reality is that modern death is becoming increasingly drawn out and long suffering often overwhelms people. Palliative care centers like Sacred Heart aim to make this journey easier and provide relief from the pain that usually comes with being terminally ill. But the battle is not against pain alone. In modern society people are reluctant to accept death as a part of life. 'We want to look after them. We want to cure them ... we've set up a situation where it's difficult to die peacefully.' Yet palliative care remains under-funded - it appears helping people die a 'good death' is a service society doesn't recognize."

Find out more about the documentary "A Good Death"


Produced by: Susan Stern, New Day Films.

"He says, I think I should kill myself.
You either intend to or you don't do it,
you don't tell me you should,
because I don't think you should."

Film - "The Self Made Man."

"Is it ever rational to choose death? On Independence Day at Stern Ranch in central California, 77-year-old solar energy pioneer Bob Stern finds out he is seriously ill - possibly dying. Meanwhile, an elderly in-law is slowly declining on artificial life support in a hospital. Bob decides to cheat that fate and take his own life. His family tries to stop him. Bob sets up a video camera. Daughter Susan Stern (Barbie Nation) tells the story of her father's quirky, inspiring life and the difficult end-of-life choices faced by an aging population."

Click to Watch CLIP of "THE SELF MADE MAN"

Find out more about the documentary "The Self Made Man"


Produced by: Anna Bensted, Inside Out, WBUR Boston.
Rachel Gotbaum - Reporter.

***This is a Radio Documentary***

"Apart from the human stories that are central to this program, the financial aspects are also of critical importance. The amount of money spent on end of life care in the US is being carefully analyzed in healthcare circles as a new administration confronts the spiraling costs of the modern healthcare system and an aging population. How can the healthcare budget match a medical culture in which death is considered a failure?"

"In this documentary Gotbaum follows several patients in their last months as they confront some of the most difficult decisions of their lives – whether they should pursue aggressive and sometimes painful medical treatments that may extend survival or focus on how to maintain the best quality of life in their final months. She reports on how trends in the American healthcare system influence their decisions and she talks with family members who are often the ones pushing for aggressive treatments."

" Inside Out is a dynamic documentary unit producing long-format radio programs and multi-part series. Highly experienced reporters turn a topic inside out to give it context, perspective, and understanding. A unique emphasis on the sounds and voices of a story, combined with first class narration engages the listener and brings them to the heart of the story."

Find out more about the "Quality of Death, End of Life Care in America: Inside Out"


Produced by: PBS FRONTLINE, Miri Navasky, Karen O'Connor.

Documentary The Undertaking


"Thomas Lynch, 58, is a writer and a poet. He's also a funeral director in a small town in central Michigan where he and his family have cared for the dead -- and the living -- for three generations. For the first time, Lynch agreed to allow cameras inside Lynch & Sons, giving FRONTLINE producers Miri Navasky and Karen O'Connor rare, behind-the-scenes access -- from funeral arrangements to the embalming room -- to the Lynches' world for this film, 'The Undertaking.' "

Find out more about the documentary "The Undertaking"


Produced by: CBC News - Mary Sheppard and The Graduate Program in Journalism at Western University - Meredith Levine.

"In Canada, access to quality end-of-life care depends on which community we reside in, the economic class we belong to, our cultural and ethnic origins, our personal belief system and the level of cohesion in our family."
-"A Good Death"

"This series is an opportunity to explore what makes a good end-of-life journey, how attitudes and practices are evolving, and what changes are needed to put palliative care on the public agenda. It also shows how, in a world devoted to longevity, we are failing in Canada to meet the needs of the dying.

Students from the Graduate Program in Journalism at Western talk to dying patients, who have become almost invisible in our society, but who they find to be wise teachers as well as being loving, courageous, fearful, witty, mournful, angry, gracious, and always very, very human. They talk to the caregivers who walk the journey with the dying every day and find ways of giving them a voice about what is often kept silent in our society; end of life and death. Approximately a quarter of a million Canadians will die this year and only some will experience a good death: a death that is peaceful, loving and comfortable. A Good Death seeks to engage the public in a conversation about the state of dying in Canada. According to a 2010 report by the research unit of The Economist news magazine, when it comes to ranking the quality of end-of-life care around the world, Canada is tied with the U.S. in ninth place, well below the UK, New Zealand, Australia and several European countries."

Online Video Clips are available on the following topics:

-Choosing where to die Doctors find it hard to tell patients they are dying
-Social media and what happens after death
-Home services for dying children
-Palliative care workers and the joys and stresses of the job
-Broken heart syndrome
-Palliative care funding
-A multi-cultural end of life
-Defining what is dying
-Hospital palliative care for dying children
-Music therapy helps patients in palliative care
-Who decides?
-The Ethics of dying
-FAQ on what a good death means to Muslim-Canadians
-The history of dying in Canada
-Derek Miller's legacy

WATCH VIDEOS and Find out more about the documentary "A Good Death - Palliative Care in Canada"


Produced by: PBS FRONTLINE, Miri Navasky.

Documentary End of Life Decisions


These chapters in the series deal with the complicated decisions that families must make when the end of life is near. Adding to the confusion is new technology that is available to prolong life.

Millions of elderly, living longer can also mean a debilitating physical decline that often requires an immense amount of care. And just as more care is needed, fewer caregivers are available to provide it. In "Living Old," FRONTLINE investigates this national crisis and explores the new realities of aging in America. source:FRONTLINE
These clips are from Chapter 5 and 6 in the series.

Find out more about the documentary "FRONTLINE: Living Old: End of Life Decisions and When Enough is Enough"


Produced by: Bill Moyers and PBS

This film series explores how society can improve the care that is received near the end of ones life. Discussions with terminally ill patients in their final days cover frustrations with health insurance and financial issues. Ethical issues include doctor assisted suicide. Possible avenues of making a better system are looked at. The documentary's website provides a wealth of knowledge on topics such as financial guides to help pay for a family member who is dying, advance care directives, the role of family caregivers, how to be with a dying person and much more. For an intimate look, the website features a personal diary of one patient who is dying detailing what he is going through. In addition to his perspective, there are logs entered from his personal friend and nurse as well.

Visit PBS website to watch video clips of "On Our Own Terms"


Produced and Directed by: Alan King.


“Allan King’s' Dying at Grace' is quite simply unprecedented: five terminally ill cancer patients allowed the director access to their final months and days inside the Toronto Grace Health Care Center. The result is an unflinching, enormously empathetic contemplation of death, featuring a handful of the most memorable people ever captured on film.”

Watch Video and find out more about "Dying At Grace"


Produced by: Screen Australia. State Government Of Victoria.
Directed by: Charlotte Roseby

"Old people used to die at home, surrounded by their loved ones. Now they are ending up in intensive care, connected to machines and surrounded by strangers. Intensive Care specialist Dr. Charlie Corke is committed to give his elderly patients every chance to get better, but he knows that sometimes the treatment is only lengthening the dying process, causing discomfort and distress. This documentary takes us on a journey of a doctor who is trying to balance his own enthusiasm for medical technology with an acceptance that, after a long and healthy life, it's OK to go. 'In the End' is a beautiful and profound film that follows the journey of patients, their families and their doctor dealing with a modern-day dilemma of our own making.”

"What makes it so distressing, says Dr Charlie Corke, a senior specialist working in intensive care, is that it takes an immense amount of invasive technology to try and support someone’s failed organs. Not just a neat little intravenous drip, but an array of suction tubes, catheters, feeding tubes and breathing tubes surgically inserted. It can also mean sedating patients and tying their wrists to the bed to make sure that in their confusion they don’t pull out all the tubes…Charlie certainly doesn’t believe in denying anyone treatment, but he asks: 'Just because we have the diagnostic and therapeutic options available, should we always use them?' ”

Find out more about the documentary "In the End" and learn more about end of life decision-making, ethics, and personal stories


Produced by: Picture Wise Productions, Bolton Dying Matters Group, National Council for Palliative Care.(NCPC)

Documentary Frontline Facing Death


"Comedians Ardal O'Hanlon, Jenny Eclair, Dave Spikey, Ricky Tomlinson, Shappi Khorsandi and consultant physician-turned-comic Kevin Jones tackle the biggest taboo of them all in the short film 'Dying for a Laugh'. Joking, reflecting and ultimately considering their own deaths, the comedians hope their involvement will encourage others to talk more openly and more often about death and other end of life issues.”

Find out more about the documentary "Dying for a Laugh - Dying Matters"

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