The Issue

About the Movement to Reimagine Death

American society is in the midst of a seismic shift in how we view death. The medical establishment has historically focused on extending every patient’s life for the maximum number of days. But there is an emerging and fundamental recognition that palliative care focusing on alleviating suffering is a more compassionate approach.

As America’s Baby Boom generation ages, our country will face dramatic and unprecedented increases in societal death rates. The scourge of the pandemic has made us all too aware of our fragility. The best time to discuss how to experience our waning days is now—rather than when our health declines or angels show up at our doorstep.

But what healthy and vibrant person (especially a young one) wants to talk about death? It’s the ultimate endgame. Documentaries on the subject commonly depict dire scenarios—such as reluctant terminations of life-support systems, or “point of no return” melancholy with cancer patients.

The topic is depicted as controversial, taboo, and often as a polemic.

That’s not the case with Jack’s story. His decision-making process takes place in slow motion over the course of 25 years. His complete comfort with the subject (and his jovial personality) allows general audiences to experience his journey not only as a viewer, but as a friend.

Your politics might lean toward an accepting stance about the right to die. Or not. That’s beside the point. Our goal with JACK HAS A PLAN is to engage all audiences with an entertaining, universal story that invites reflection on the most serious subject in life. 

Jack’s story underscores these pro-dignity arguments:

  • A patient can bring an end to suffering by choosing when to die.
  • Patients can die before losing their physical or mental capacities.
  • The healthcare financial burden on the family can be reduced.

More than anything, the film captures the ability for somebody like Jack (or you, or me) to arrange for final goodbyes with loved ones—and to maximize our appreciation for a life well lived.