Between Life and Death (2010)

This is not a movie, per se, but a 50-minute TV documentary aired by the BBC. Eto yung program description niya sa website:

Provocative documentary following the doctors who can now interrupt, and even reverse, the process of death. Filmed over six months in the country’s leading brain injury unit (Addenbooke’s Hospital, Cambridge), it follows the journey of a man who, by only moving his eyes, is eventually asked if he wants to live or die. Two other families are also plunged into the most ethically difficult decision in modern medicine.

Bigat diba? ‘Di ko alam, pero si Kevorkian agad ang naisip ko. Ito talaga ang ethical stumbling block ng medical profession eh. Anong ipa-prioritize mo? Yung gulay mong pasyente o yung kamag-anakan niyang gumagastos ng sangkaterbang pera bawat araw para lang mabuhay siya? A life struggling to hold on o lives unwilling but needing to move on?

Actually kahit din sa ating mga ordinaryong tao, applicable din itong palabas na ito. Ang dami sating napakabilis sabihing, “pull the plug kapag ganoon na…” without ever giving it more serious thought. Sobrang taken for granted natin ang buhay at health. Pero kung malagay nga tayo sa ganoong sitwasyon, kaya nga ba nating panindigan talaga? I mean, kung money is a non-issue tapos we’re actually given the choice if we wanna go on living and seeing our loved ones (especially our kids and their kids, etc.) or if we wanna end it na, are we really able to choose to go?


RESOLVE – In-depth itong dokyu na ito. It doesn’t shy away from the harder and more controversial parts of the issue. Kita sa sustansya ng interviews (which are mostly heart-rending, btw), sa walang pag-aatubiling close-ups na mala-staredown with its subjects at basically yung buong atake sa production nito. Pero hindi rin siya harsh. Maraming moments na tila pinapagpahinga nila ang subjects at binibigyan ng dignidad na mag-breakdown, huminga at i-gather up ulit ang kanilang mga sarili. Effective, pero may puso pa rin.

INFORMATIVE – Well, informative tungkol sa capability ng UK medical professionals and their equipment at the very least. Binigyan ng airtime ang mga doktor at mga staff nila na i-explain kung anuman ang mga medical processes and procedures na nagaganap at ipinakita rin kung paano nila ito ginagawa exactly. So medyo may takeaway din for medical professionals ito, lalo na para sa mga neurosurgeons.

FINAL VERDICT – I say watch this one. If only to know the answer/s or even just to have an inkling of the circumstances surrounding the kind of decision/s the subjects (and us too, eventually) have to make, this documentary is indispensable. It reminds us that even if we feel like masters of our fate, we still are very, very fragile. After all, we still are the biological entities made up of approximately 57% water and finely-tuned organ systems that can go haywire for countless different reasons. Tao lang tayo. Nothing more, nothing less.


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