Documenting Medicine Speaker Series: CDS Audio Director John Biewen on “The Hospice Experiment,” December 14

Kitty Shenay and Maurice Shenay with John Biewen. Photograph by Tom Rankin.

In a multimedia presentation on December 14 at Duke University Medical Center, CDS audio director John Biewen will talk about the making of his radio documentary “The Hospice Experiment” as part of Documenting Medicine, a program that pairs Duke physician residents and fellows with documentarians at the Center for Documentary Studies to produce work exploring medical issues.

Wednesday, December 14, 5–6 p.m.
Duke University Medical Center (South)
Room 0112 (basement; purple zone)
201 Trent Drive, Durham, North Carolina

“The Hospice Experiment” is a story on the hospice movement—specialized care for terminally ill patients with less than six months to live. Biewen followed one hospice patient, Kitty Shenay, through the last two months of her life during the making of the documentary.

“The experience was poignant. Towards the end it was disturbing, even shocking,” writes Biewen. “It was emotional. I wiped away tears several times in Kitty’s presence, and many more times while listening back to her tender moments with her daughters and with her nurse, Roland Siverson. But depressing? No. In fact, I found the experience curiously uplifting.”

All of the Documenting Medicine podcasts to date can be found at


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