Louis Theroux: Life and Death in LA: Edge of Life

Louis Theroux: Life and Death in LA: Edge of Life

Series 1

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Review

There are some things Louis Theroux does better than anyone. Tonight, he brings us moving human stories on the very edge of life and gets to the heart of ethical issues in a film that may leave your head ringing.

We’re in the hospitals of Los Angeles with terminally ill patients. Apparently, the US leads the world in its spending on end-of-life care. Doctors go the extra mile to fight extreme illness, with expensive procedures and a never-say-die mindset – because patients demand it.

We meet Langston, 22, who is in a coma after a brain injury. His doctors try to explain to his family that he will never wake up but their words fall on deaf ears. “I know he’s going to get better,” smiles his sister in the face of all medical evidence.

Louis politely and calmly asks patients and doctors the really hard questions and it makes for a gripping film about making your peace with death – or not. Plus, there’s an unlikely twist that almost flips the whole film on its head.

Summary

Louis explores the American attitude to death as he visits Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in West Hollywood, where he meets people battling against serious illnesses. He talks to patients and their families as they face whether to accept death and die in relative comfort, or to gamble on further, possibly painful treatments to prolong their lives, and meets the doctors whose job it is to guide people through the traumatic process.

Cast & Crew

Presenter Louis Theroux
Director Jamie Pickup
Producer Jamie Pickup
Series Producer Rob Farquhar
Documentary