Synopsis by Nathan Southern
The medical concept of PRNH - an acronym for Patient Refusal of Nutrition and Hydration - is not only an unusual one, but one little-known outside of a select few medical communities. It rests on the idea that terminally ill patients with no chance of recovery can dramatically lessen their suffering by cutting themselves off from all food and drink in the last weeks of their waning lives. Doing so means working with (rather than against) the grain of the body's shutting-down process, and thus, may reduce such side effects as nausea, tumors, vomiting and difficult elimination. A retired surgeon, Dr. Michael Miller, adhered devotedly to this concept after receiving a diagnosis of fatal cancer. With death in sight, Miller staved himself off of food and drink for thirteen days, believing with great conviction that an elimination of dietary intake would lessen his pain. Instead of fighting the onset of the disease, Miller embraced life in his final days: he gathered his family around, listened to his favorite music one last time, and prepared for the end. To illustrate the benefits of PRNH for future generations, Miller opted to capture his final experiences in this documentary, which depicts him wielding much-needed control over his physical deterioration, and thus living out his final days peacefully.
final-days, nutrition, recovery [health], starvation, surgeon, terminal-illness