Life as an Extreme Sport

Hold Your Breath

Not to be left out of the recent slew of video posts, I offer “Hold Your Breath”, a new film from the Program in Bioethics and Film at Stanford’s Center for Biomedical Ethics (whew, long title). A documentary by Maren Grainger-Monsen, Hold Your Breath looks at multi-cultural miscommunication in medicine. From the website,

After fleeing Afghanistan in 1979, Mohammad Kochi settled in Fremont, California and raised his family. Just when life seems to be getting easier for Kochi, he is diagnosed with an aggressive, life-threatening cancer. When Mr. Kochi rejects chemotherapy and instead embarks on a pilgrimage to Mecca, his doctor fears that family members acting as interpreters have misinformed Kochi about the gravity of his disease.Meanwhile, Kochis daughter, Noorzia, blames a culturally insensitive health care system for her fathers rapidly declining health.

This haunting documentary exposes the poignant clash between ancient Islamic traditions and contemporary medical technology through intimate moments of anguish, frustration and hope.

There are screenings across the country, and select PBS stations will also be airing the documentary this month. For those of us unlucky enough to live in markets without either, a short video clip can be seen here.

[With thanks to Rebecca Garden and Audrey Schafer!] — Kelly Hills
[and thanks for the heads up from Maren Grainger-Monsen! – Glenn]

Originally posted at the American Journal of Bioethics Editors Blog.