Consider the Conversation is an intimate story about the American struggle with communication and preparation for life’s end. This full length film includes the perspectives of patients, family members, doctors, nurses, social workers, clergy and national experts from around the country. During its highly successful two and a half year run the privately funded documentary aired 611 times on 176 PBS stations in 33 states and won eleven major awards including journalistic excellence, viewer impact, and use of film for social change.
The documentary is the work of Terry Kaldhusdal, a 6th-grade history teacher and filmmaker, and Michael Bernhagen, a healthcare business development professional turned hospice advocate. Both lost loved ones to severe chronic disease during the first part of the 21st century and struggled, like most Americans do, to make sense of what was happening. These personal experiences, combined with Mike’s many years of work in the hospice field, led the pair to produce these documentaries with one simple goal in mind: inspire culture change that results in end-of-life care that is more person-centered and less system-centered.