Hospice to host free healthcare conference, ‘Being Mortal’

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Lower Cape Fear Hospice will host a free conference, “Being Mortal: Facing the Elephant in the Room,” from 9-11:30 a.m. June 30 at Phillips LifeCare & Counseling Center, 1414 Physicians Drive in Wilmington.

This conference will feature a panel discussion by clinicians and other end-of-life professionals Gwen Whitley, LCFH vice president of clinical services; Suzanne Black, AARP-NC associate state director; and Holly Pilson, Area Agency on Aging caregiver specialist.

The conference will also include a screening of “Frontline’s” documentary “Being Mortal,” based on Dr. Atul Gawande’s best-selling book of the same name. Gawande is a renowned surgeon at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

In “Being Mortal,” Gawande explores how physicians are reluctant to have end-of-life discussions with patients with life-threatening illnesses. They opt instead to offer treatments that will probably not work and may worsen quality of life. He admits being guilty of the same practices and the regret, coupled with the loss of his own father, led to his change in philosophy. He emphasizes the goal of medicine should be to offer patients a “good life to the very end.”

Registration for the conference is required. For more information or to register, contact Jason Clamme at 796-7943 or email Jason.Clamme@lcfh.org.

Lower Cape Fear Hospice is a nonprofit agency that provides healthcare and comfort to people with advanced illnesses; support and counseling to families; and education to the community in Bladen, Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover, Onslow and Pender counties in North Carolina, and Horry County in South Carolina. For more information, visit www.lcfh.org or facebook.com/lcfhospice.