Finding Our Voices: Critical dialogues about how we die in America and what we can do about it
WhenThursday October 1, 2020
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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This event is designed for Clinicians and Healthcare Workers.
Dr. Jessica Zitter, based at Highland Hospital in Oakland is an Intensive Care physician and Palliative Care Specialist who helps terminal patients and their families during the toughest time of their lives – coming to terms with their death.
Join us for a one-of-a-kind virtual event including a keynote presentation with Q&A with Dr. Zitter and a screening of the short documentary film in which she stars. Extremis, winner (best short) of the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and 2017 Emmy and Academy Award Nominated, focuses on the wrenching emotions that accompany end-of-life decisions as doctors, patients and families in a hospital ICU face harrowing choices.
After two decades of caring for critically ill patients, Jessica Nutik Zitter, MD, MPH is a strong advocate for a new approach to caring for the dying. She specializes in Critical Care and Palliative Care medicine, and practices at a public hospital in Oakland, CA. Having herself participated in the default and indiscriminate use of technology on dying patients, with its resultant suffering, Dr. Zitter has come to view this situation as a public health crisis. She is committed to reorienting our care of the dying to a more collaborative process whereby the patient, rather than her organ or disease, is the primary focus of care.
Dr. Zitter’s first book, Extreme Measures: Finding A Better Path to the End of Life, (Penguin, 2017), offers an insider’s view of intensive care in America and its impact on how we die. Her essays and articles have appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Time Magazine, the Journal of the American Medical Association, among others.
Her forthcoming documentary, “Caregiver: A Love Story” examines the rising public health crisis of family caregiver burden. Her work is also featured in the 2017 Oscar- and Emmy-nominated short-documentary “Extremis,” now streaming on Netflix. This vérité film follows Jessica, her team and several patients and their families in the intensive care unit at Highland Hospital. She has also been featured on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, “The Doctors,” “Doctor Oz,” CBS Sunday Morning, and others.
Dr. Zitter attended Stanford University and Case Western Reserve University Medical School and earned her Masters of Public Health at UC Berkeley. Her medical training includes an Internal Medicine residency at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a fellowship in Pulmonary/Critical Care at UCSF. In 2005 she co-founded Vital Decisions, a telephone counseling service for patients with life-limiting illnesses.
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