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LIFE Before Death short film 'Being Philosophical'


In this Short Film we discover the philosophy that underpins the practice of palliative care encouraging practitioners to meet a patient where they are, not where we think they should be.

 “In the west we live as if life was about materialism.  Capitalism rules the day.  What an absolute aberrant catastrophe that that’s the case,” reflects Dr Balfour Mount (Canada).  “One only has to sit in the arena of end of life care to realize how totally irrelevant those values are.”

 “Our medicine has gone far to the side of looking only at the physical domain and it used to be that we were way over on the spiritual domain when we didn’t have the technology, the medicines, the progress,” explains Dr Shannon Moore (USA).  “Now as the pendulum swings back the other way, what we do is not just find a body, or just a spirit, but something in the middle which is who we are.  We are a combination.  We are a creature of spirit and body.”

 We hear the tragic story of Mr Wong (Singapore) recounting how undertreated cancer pain led him to self-medicate with illicit drugs like heroin.

“The human species I think has survived because we have a capacity to adapt to anything remarkably quickly,” observes Dr Mount.  “Pain paralyses adaptation.  The significance of the issue is thrown into stark relief when we realize how treatable, with simple tools, pain is.”

Click on this link to view the film.

LIFE Before Death comprises 50 short films themed around pain control and end of life issues, releasing one a week for a year from May 2011. A feature film was released in early 2012, and will be followed by the release of a television documentary in late 2012.

To find out more and view all the films in the series visit Treat the Pain website.