A FILM BY Robert Epstein
PEOPLE COME HERE TO DIE. BUT IT’S ALSO TRUE THAT PEOPLE COME HERE TO LIVE.
-BJ MILLER, M.D.
End Game weaves together three stories of visionary medical providers who practice on the cutting edge of life and death, helping to change the way we think about both: the palliative care team at UCSF Medical Center, the most sophisticated acute care hospital in Northern California; Zen Hospice Project, a Buddhist-inspired end-of-life residence in a classic San Francisco Victorian; and B.J. Miller, M.D., a physician who understands suffering first-hand (he lost three limbs in an accident when he was 19) and who has worked with both UCSF and Zen Hospice. For most people, the very words “hospice” and “palliative care” are nonstarters—code words for giving up. This core group of caregivers in San Francisco sees it differently. They are dedicated to relieving suffering, and to changing the way we think about—and make choices about—how we live our lives as we near life’s end. Their commitment is vividly embodied in their interactions with their terminally ill patients. These intimate and often highly charged emotional moments—with caregivers, patients, and patients’ families and loved ones—are at the heart of End Game.