The video “A Good Death” is for patients with COPD or other serious lung conditions, their families, and the doctors and nurses who provide care for them. It is not an easy film to watch, because it describes the struggles of a real patient, Mr. Martin Cavanagh, and his family during the last months of his life. If you are living alone, it may be best to invite a family member or friend to watch it with you.

The film is designed to introduce the concept of ADVANCE CARE PLANNING. It is meant to prompt meaningful discussion and helpful planning for future care for patients whose respiratory illness is leading them to the end of their life. It is about making thoughtful choices. If you are a patient, you may find this challenging or even upsetting at first. But experience tells us that these understandable reactions give way to genuine appreciation and satisfaction because sensitive issues have been brought out into the open and addressed.

You may wish to find out more about “Advance Care Planning” for patients with respiratory disease. You can download a purpose-built Plan entitled “Making Choices” (pdf) . After reading it you may wish to discuss it with your family members, and take it to your doctor and discuss it with him or her. If you want further information about Advanced Care Planning in New Zealand then you can OR OR write to Professor D. Robin Taylor (

If you liked this, have a look at our other films here: These are our short medical films available for free. Have a look at our longer films here: I would particularly recommend 'Donated to Science' described by the Dominion Post as 'Extraordinarily Profound'.

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