February 15, 2015
This past Tuesday night, Frontline’s program entitled Being Mortal was an interview with NY Times best-selling author and surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande, on his book by the same name. The program focused on patients in their final days with their families and physicians as they wrestled with the patients’ expectations and their end of life situations and choices. Of particular note was how much, as a physician, Dr. Gawande and other physicians struggled with problems they couldn’t fix, namely aging and death. The program allowed us to journey along with Dr. Gawande as he examined his own personal experiences with his father’s terminal illness and the decisions he and his family made as well as those of his colleagues and their terminally-ill patients as they pondered end of life situations. It was an informative program and one I would recommend to the entire parish to watch as an introduction to the book of the same name.
This spring Trinity’s members of the Home Board will be reading this book to better equip ourselves in discerning how we can share our own desires and end of life priorities and those of our loved ones. I recommend this book to the entire congregation since it offers many humane suggestions on how to think about our fear of dying and prioritize our quality of life, treatment options and expectations when confronted with difficult end of life decisions. And perhaps at this time when as a Christian community we are invited into a Holy Lent, we too may more deeply confront the reality of death with the truth of God’s promise of eternal life.