Dr Leora Kuttner, an award-winning filmmaker and an international expert in pediatric pain management, brings us this groundbreaking and comprehensive look at the emerging field of pediatric palliative care. “If we can make it less awful, a child dying, then why don’t we already do it? Why isn’t pediatric palliative care everywhere? Why is there a block? I’m asking you – why do we have to make a film about it?” Stephen Liben, MD, in Making Every Moment Count.
At the film’s heart are five remarkable young people who speak with profound clarity and wisdom about being alive and their approach to death. Layering their stories with interviews, the film is a unique portrait of how families and professionals can come together during a highly emotional time to share in decision making, address fears of death and provide hope. After multiple, unsuccessful chemotherapies, Mikaela knows that she has a choice: she can let her brain tumor grow “and just go away, up to heaven,” or she can put up with “needles and pokes and all that stuff and make it go away, and even perhaps it might come back.” Sometimes she feels ready to stop her treatments, but then she thinks about how much her mother will miss her… . The film clearly shows that, despite popular belief, children can talk about end-of-life issues if given proper support, and that doing so can help both them and their families cope with the realities of their situation. It features deeply caring physicians, nurses, therapists and others working with families whose children range from newborns to teenagers. Their care takes place in the hospital, in hospice programs and at home.
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