Saturday, May 30, 2015

The Farewell Party

From the NY Times Review by Stephen Holden
“The Farewell Party,” an Israeli comedy about euthanasia, steers a careful course between humor and pathos while playing down overtly political and religious arguments for and against assisted suicide. The first feature of its creative team, Tal Granit and Sharon Maymon, “The Farewell Party,” which won them an Ophir Award (the Israeli Oscar) for best direction, is set in a Jerusalem retirement home in which one resident, an amateur inventor, devises a “mercy-killing machine.” News of the device leaks to the home’s other residents. That inventor, Yehezkel, a robust bear of a man (Ze’ev Revah) and his wife, Levana (Levana Finkelshtein), a couple in their 70s, are distressed by the acute suffering of their friend Max (Shmuel Wolf), who is dying of cancer and against his will is kept alive by doctors. Max’s wife, Yana (Aliza Rozen), entreats Yehezkel to assist Max, however he can, in ending his agony.

I have not seen this yet.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

An Unpleasant Truth About Youth Suicide?

Joe Flood, an English teacher at Pine Ridge, tells an important story.
Suicide epidemics come to the Pine Ridge reservation every few years with varying degrees of national media attention and local soul-searching. What the news media often misses though, and what tribal members understand but rarely discuss, is that youth suicides here are inextricably linked to a multigenerational scourge of sexual abuse.

This is an insightful and important essay that has relevance to First Nations people and other youth suicides.

May 17, 2015 New York Times

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The Last Days of Her Life

When Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when?

"Sandy Bem, a Cornell psychology professor one month shy of her 65th birthday, was alone in her bedroom one night in May 2009, watching an HBO documentary called “The Alzheimer’s Project.” For two years, she had been experiencing what she called “cognitive oddities.”

NYTimes article Sunday Magazine, May 17, 2015

Sandy Bem and her daughter

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Why African American Seniors are Less Likely to Use Hospice

This aired on the PBS NewsHour on May 5, 2015.

"Black seniors are more likely than whites and Latinos to forgo hospice care. Due to deeply felt religious beliefs and a long history of discrimination in the U.S., African-American patients are often reluctant to plan for the end of their lives, and more skeptical when doctors suggest stopping treatment. Special correspondent Sarah Varney reports on efforts to change some of those beliefs."

Why African American Seniors are Less Likely to Use Hospice.