End-of-Life Care

End-of-life is often challenging for the elderly and their families. The films Extremis by Dan Krauss and End Game by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman explore end-of-life issues and the difficult decisions patients and families face. An important concept evident in the films is assistance with end-of-life decision-making. Assisting with end-of-life decision-making involves helping dying patients and their families make medical decisions that often have a life-shortening effect. These decisions determine the ethical and legal aspects of care. Dr. Jessica Zitter and her colleagues help dying patients make end-of-life decisions in the Extremis film. The care providers engage families and patients in proactive communication (Krauss, 2016). For Example, Dr. Zitter explains to Donna’s family members that putting her on life-sustaining machines could cause Donna more suffering. This communication assists the patient, and the family decides to let Donna die. In the End Game film, assisting with end-of-life decision-making is evidenced through Mitra’s failing cancer treatment. The palliative care providers and Mitra’s families explore Mitra’s death choices to make end–of–life decisions. End-of-life decisions are made according to patients’ best interests.


Another essential concept is hospice care which entails the care provided to enhance the quality of life of terminally-ill patients and their families. For example, in the Extremis film, Dr. Zitter provides hospice care by ensuring that the breathing tube is installed correctly to assist Donna breathing (Krauss, 2016). Another example of Hospice care is Selena’s placement on a ventilator to help her breathe since she cannot breathe independently.

Therapeutic Communication

Therapeutic communication in end-of-life care in the film includes providing information, sharing feelings, and using touch. In the Extremis, Dr. Zitter provides Tama, Selena’s daughter, with formation about her mother’s conditions. She explains that Selena is comatose and she will never regain consciousness. Sharing hope entails comforting the dying patients and their families. Dr. Miller in End Game continuously comforts Mitra’s family by assuring them that death is an inevitable phase of human life. Her family also hopes that Mitra’s condition will improve (Epstein and Friedman, 2018). End-of-life entails sharing feelings with loved ones to cope and ease the fear of death (Potter et al., 2021). Mitra receives affection and love from her husband and 8-year-old son. She is also happy when her sister arrives from Switzerland.


Epstein, R. & Friedman, J. (2018). End Game [Film]. Telling Pictures.

 Krauss, D. (Director). (2016). Extremis [Film]. f/8 Filmworks Potter, P. A., Perry, A. G., Stockert, P. A., & Hall, A. M. (2021). Fundamentals of nursing (10th ed.). Elsevie