Being Mortal

Death is something we will all one day face. So why is it so hard for doctors to talk about dying with their patients? And how can the medical profession better help people navigate the final chapters of their lives with confidence, direction and purpose?

Renowned surgeon and New Yorker writer Atul Gawande explored those questions in his bestselling book as well as in the documentary “BEING MORTAL” that brings his personal journey — and the stories of patients and their families — to life, and that challenges us all to reexamine how we think about death and dying.

BM Atul surgeon
Dr. Atul Gawande visiting patient post surgery.

There will be a multitude of ways to experience BEING MORTAL: the longform documentary film premiering Feb. 10, 2015 on PBS and online, shortform original video on FRONTLINE’s YouTube channel, in-depth FRONTLINE radio features, additional original journalism on FRONTLINE’s website, and Gawande’s book.

All told, the multiplatform Being Mortal project will shine an unprecedented spotlight on how patients, families and doctors all experience the end stages of life, and encourage a national conversation about how to live life to the fullest extent possible.

The ultimate goal, after all, is not a good death but a good life — all the way to the very end.


Poignant and agonizing. – Mike Hale, New York Times

BEING MORTAL tackles with fierce insight and poignancy the way in which the medical profession treats those who are dying and how, often, it fails to give them the best options. It’s truly excellent TV. – John Doyle, The Globe & Mail

Though the emotions are raw and the subject grim, BEING MORTAL demonstrates how death intensifies rather than diminishes life’s meaning. – Peter Kough, New York Magazine (also skews on the BRILLIANT/HIGH BROW side of the Approval Matrix)

Directed by TOM JENNINGS | Written by TOM JENNINGS and ATUL GAWANDE | Produced by TOM JENNINGS and LAUREN MUCCIOLO | Edited by STEVE AUDETTE, CHAD ERVIN and MOLLY BERNSTEIN | Consulting Producer ANNIE WONG | Field Producer CARLA BORRAS | Producer (India) NISHA PAHUJA | Line Producer JULIE RASQUIN | Directors of Photography BRIAN DOWLEY and TIM GRUZCA | Principal Photography TOM JENNINGS, MRINAL DESAI, JOSH WEINSTEIN, TRAVIS FOX, STEPHEN MCCARTHY and APAL SINGH (India) | Additional Camera LAUREN MUCCIOLO, ANNA BELLE PEAVEY, JABARI CANADA, ERIC GULLIVER and MEGAN MCGOUGH | Additional Sound CARLA BORRAS and LAUREN MUCCIOLO | Original Music JOHN E. LOW | Assistant Editor JACLYN LEE | Production Assistants JABARI CANADA and SARAH JONES | Intern HILLARY HUBLEY | For Frontline Senior Producer FRANK KOUGHAN | Senior Editor ANDREW METZ | Deputy Executive Producer RANEY ARONSON-RATH | Executive Producer DAVID FANNING

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