Item Details

Last Rights

by Karen Cantor, Singing Wolf Documentaries
Format
Video; Computer Resource; Online Video; Online
Summary
Who decides how life ends? The patient? The family? The physician? The health care system? This is a compelling and deeply personal exploration of four families and their terminally-ill loved ones as they face death. It brings up a multitude of issues implicit in the individuals' option to hasten death when the dying process makes life unendurable. Last Rights explores medical, ethical, and political issues. We meet Scott Nelson, a physician in the Mississippi Delta whose father, Elbert Nelson, was diagnosed with kidney cancer; Julie McMurchie from Oregon whose mother, Peggy Sutherland, was just beginning to enjoy her life after divorce when lung cancer overtook her; Lennie Gladstone of the Washington, DC area whose beloved husband, Doug Gladstone, was diagnosed with liver cancer; and Carol Poenisch of Michigan who tells about her mother, Merian Frederick, whose body was atrophying with Lou Gehrig's disease and who had lost the power to speak. For guidance the patients turned to clergy, medical professionals and legal authorities. Several nationally-known spokespeople with diverse points of view appear in the film: Derek Humphry (Final Exit); J. Wesley Smith (Forced Exit); and Barbara Coombs Lee of Compassion & Choices. In addition we become acquainted with Reverend Kenneth Phifer who stood by Merian and her family when she decided to take control of her death. The film also includes newsreels of Jack Kevorkian who ultimately helped Merian Frederick die; We are also given a brief history of the hospice movement and its founder Sister Cicely Saunders' commitment to palliative care.
Release Date
2009
Run Time
56 min.
Language
English
Rating
For College; Adult audiences
Awards Note
Western Psychological Association Film Festival, 2010
Series
Filmakers Library Online
Published
New York, NY : Filmakers Library, 2009.
Access Restriction
Access restricted to subscribers.
Description
1 online resource (56 min.)
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic

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