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photo More than a Failing Heart
Patients and Families Talk About End of Life Care
By Patricia Barey & Therese Burson
Tellens, Inc.

Everyone has a right to medical care that is competent, coordinated, and compassionate. Yet even the most competent of clinicians too seldom have the opportunity, or too seldom take the time, to really listen to the voices of patients and their family members. The articulate people in this program describe examples both of the best of end-of-life care, and of the worst. Their stories convey a vivid sense of the ways inadequate care has contributed to their pain and loss, and of how truly competent and compassionate physicians and nurses can change the character of the end-of-life experience.

This film calls on caregivers to treat every individual with dignity and respect, to attend to family and caregiver needs, to provide physical comfort and emotional support, to communicate information sensitively, to share decision-making & foster a sense of control, and above all to listen.

The program was developed as a training tool in connection with The Toolkit Project, an effort to create reliable tools to measure the quality of life and quality of care given to dying patients and their families.

25 minutes
© 2002
Purchase $199 DVD
Order No. QA-355
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-868-5

"A haunting and profound visual reminder of the importance of knowing the individual, of the significance of quality care, and of the role of families. Highly recommended for all health programs, and colleges with nursing and medical programs." Educational Media Reviews

Awards & Conference Screenings
Freddie Award Winner in Patient Care,
International Health and Medical Film Festival
American Society on Aging
Merit Award, Mature Media Awards
Gold Award, National Health Information Awards
Association for Gerontology in Higher Education

Related Films
Caring at the End of Life: Based on six case studies of seriously ill hospitalized patients, this moving film focuses on the key roles of nursing staff in improving patient-clinician communication in end-of-life care.

Common Heroes: Follows the nurses, physicians, social workers and clergy who make up the hospice team, and demonstrates the ways they collaborate to help patients and families.

The Journey Home: The candid stories of five patients exemplify the unique gifts of hope, relief, and dignity that hospice care programs offer to thousands of terminally ill patients each year.

Still Life: Explores the emotional relationship between medical students in anatomy courses and the cadavers which make it possible for them to learn about the human body. The film includes a discussion of body donation.

The Way We Die: Intimately filmed interviews between caregivers and terminally ill patients encourage professionals to attend more closely to their patients' values, needs, and wishes.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website