While not graphic, ‘Extremis’ is by design, hard to watch.  This Oscar nominated short documentary covers a subject everyone needs to prepare for but no one wants to: what’s the protocol if you (or a member of your family) due to health or accident, needs to be hooked up to a machine to continue living?  How long do you let them live (usually in some level of pain)? Practically for the vast majority of us, how long can you financially afford to let them live like this?  Do they even want to, if they haven’t explicitly set up this situation in their will (which this film made me revisit)?  How big of a role do the doctors play in laying out the practical facts versus advising you what to do in what is ultimately the family’s decision?

It’s only a 24 minute film, but the filmmakers do a great job of presenting the various stages of grief/denial you would expect in this situation, as well as the toll it takes on the doctors themselves (who after all, are only human).

Now streaming on Netflix.

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