If you thought you were dying, what would matter most? That’s the topic of “Frontline: Being Moral”, a documentary that will be screened at 9 a.m. on Monday, Sept. 21 at the Alice Peters Auditorium.

“Being Mortal” confronts an already growing national dialogue on the reality of death and those suffering from serious illness. The documentary will take viewers on a journey to explore the complex issues that doctors, patients and hospice professionals face when having end-of-life-discussions.

“The importance of talking to patients early about end-of-life planning so physicians, patients, and their families can focus on the quality, not the quantity of life is paramount,” said Dr. Helen Miltiades, professor of Gerontology. “This should transcend to everyone, regardless of health. Thinking about end-of-life issues puts the focus on one’s priorities and living life to the fullest.”

After the showing, a discussion panel will take place, featuring partners from Hinds Hospice and the local chapter of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California, one of the event sponsors.

Another sponsor, The California State University Institute for Palliative Care at Fresno State, was designed to help develop a quality palliative care workforce by educating both current and future professionals in health care, nursing, social work, public health and other allied professions through courses at the undergraduate and graduate level.

“The CSU Institute is helping to raise public awareness of palliative care, so that many seriously or chronically ill patients and their families will recognize it as a means to alleviate their suffering, and enhance their quality of life,” said Miltiades.

In partnership with the CSU Institute, Fresno State has undertaken the task of exploring the need for palliative care curriculum and support at Fresno State. One way to do this is to prepare future professionals working specifically with aging populations. The Gerontology Program, housed under the Department of Social Work Education, is one such program that offers students a minor or certificate in the area.

It is one of the smallest programs on campus, with about 80 students enrolled annually. However the need to prepare more professionals in the field is increasing, with the population of Americans age 65 and older expected to double in the next 25 years.

“Fresno State is positioned to be instrumental in raising awareness within the campus community and the Central Valley region, at large, about palliative care and the need for qualified professionals to work with aging populations,” said Miltiades. “By engaging local, regional and national experts from the CSU and from the palliative care community, we’ll be able to bring the latest in best practices and educational offerings to professionals and the community.”

“Being Mortal” is open and free to students, faculty, staff and the general public.

For more information, contact Dr. Helen Miltiades at 559.278.7523.

Click to enlarge.
Click to enlarge.