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Living with Kidney Failure (Movie)

Dialysis Machine in Use

Living with Kidney Failure is a film about the lived-experience of seven individuals of different ages, disease histories and cultural backgrounds. The stories of their dialysis-dependency highlight some of the quality-of-life issues faced by people living with chronic kidney failure. While their experiences are in some ways specific to their disease and treatment, the issues of family strain, unemployment, uncertainty, vulnerability and mortality will be familiar to all those who live or work with chronic illness.

This film is the product of a two-year participatory action research project which involved researchers from McGill University and patient-collaborators from two university-affiliated hemodialysis units. This film has several different goals: (a) raising awareness about kidney disease in the general public, (b) exploring quality of life and chronic illness issues with health care students and professionals, (c) providing chronically ill people with a larger sense of community (d) offering administrators and health-policy legislators a window into the needs of this rapidly growing patient-population.

Directed by: Garry Beitel

Research Team: Dawn Allen PhD, Dr. Thomas Hutchinson and Megan Wainwright (Research Assistant)

Produced by: reFrame Films formerly Beitel/Lazar Films Inc.

For: McGill Programs in Whole Person Care

With generous support from:

Kidney Foundation of Canada
The Kidney Foundation of Canada

Donner Foundation
The Donner Canadian Foundation

The Canadian Association of Nephrology Social Workers
The Canadian Association of Nephrology Social Workers (CANSW)

The McGill University Health Centre Dialysis and Organ Transplant Fund (DialyTran)

Dr. Robin Cohen and Nancy Gair (Palliative Care Research, McGill University Health Center)

Alain Kalfon (translator)

Special thanks to our patient-collaborators and the hemodialysis units’ staff who opened their doors and their hearts and minds to this study.