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Consider the Conversation: A Documentary on a Taboo Subject

A gressroots project to improve end of life care, this film sheds light on the 21st century American struggle with communication and preparation at the end-of-life. Throughout the film, there are intimate accounts of the emotional, spiritual, physical and social burdens associated with the historical shift that has occurred with dying. Forty years ago, most people experienced a quick death, but today we are more likely to suffer a slow, incremental dying process.

Consider the Conversation examines multiple perspectives on end-of-life care and includes information and experiences gathered from interviews with patients, family members, doctors, nurses, clergy, social workers, and national experts on death and dying. The film includes in-depth interviews with 40+ individuals from California, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Wisconsin. 62 “person on the street” interviews were also conducted in New York City in April of 2010.

Motivated by their personal experiences with loss, Mike Bernhagen, Director of Community Engagement & Care Partner Relations at Rainbow Hospice Care of Jefferson, WI, and Terry Kaldhusdal, an Oconomowoc, WI teacher and filmmaker, decided to join forces in early 2009 to begin a creative journey that has resulted in a film entitled Consider the Conversation. Wonderful clips and resources are provided on the website.

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