#LastWords Film Shows You Why The Dying Also Deserve Dignity

Nurses share the last words heard from their dying patients. The video-driven campaign by Indian Association of Palliative Care hopes to build awareness through digital

In this age of overwhelming content, it is easy to get lost under piles of videos, some auto-played on your social feeds, some stopped abruptly because the viewer got bored midway and some watched till the end because the video had a powerful message. If you are a marketer, you want to create these videos that people watch till the very end. #LastWords is one such video that captures your attention for a whole 2.45 minutes.

Made for the Indian Association of Palliative Care, the video is a collection of last words by dying people, known to us through their nurses. Why would one want to hear what a dying person’s last words were? The idea is to build awareness about palliative care through digital and social media.

Palliative care or end of days care is an alien concept in India with just 1 in 100 patients in need actually getting it. People do not like to talk about death and dying, though it is inevitable, especially for patients with serious illness; it so happens that ‘last words’ are usually heard by nurses, rather than their family members.

Conceptualized by a healthcare-specialist advertising agency, Medulla Communications, and directed by Rahul Sengupta of A NineTeen Films, the video features 8 nurses who share the last words heard from their dying patients. While a few laugh, some others can’t help shedding a tear or two, but nevertheless, they as well as the viewer is left with a lump in the throat.

The video leads to a microsite where viewers can pledge to offer palliative care. The campaign is aiming for a 100 thousand pledges and to later approach the public authorities.

The campaign is also being supported through Facebook and Twitter pages, both of which are actively sharing facts about palliative care and the need for it.

The campaign was officially launched by IAPC and the Human Rights Commissioner of Maharashtra, at an event in Pune, which was attended by 500 healthcare professionals and healthcare agencies from across the world.

Digital- the key to awareness

It is good to see healthcare marketing leverage the digital medium now more than ever. And while at it, be sensitive enough in portraying the need for dignity in death. The beauty of #LastWords lies in its treatment: a viewer is jolted enough to give a thought to palliative care, to question about who deserves to hear a dying person’s last words - the nurse or a dear one.

Driving a call-to-action in the form of a pledge further adds a quantitative factor to the campaign in addition to the video views. Together with the social media content, it has managed to build awareness and conversations around a sensitive subject like ‘last words’.