When My Time Comes

When My Time Comes

Sun, 04/18/2021 - 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Diane Rehm

Provided by WAMU

Peabody Award-winning journalist Diane Rehm conducts an inquiry into the controversial, often misunderstood end-of-life option known as medical aid in dying (MAID) in the United States.

The new one-hour film, When My Time Comes, produced by FabFilms, premieres Sunday, April 18, 2021 at 7 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Rehm’s own personal experience, witnessing the long and painful death of her late husband, John Rehm, to Parkinson’s disease, helped spur her interest in understanding the end-of-life options that did not exist for him.

Please note: This speical was to premiere on Monday, April 12 but was pre-empted for PBS NewsHour's Prince Philip: A Royal Life.

In early April, Diane Rehm joined Evan Dawson on "Connections" to talk about the film and her personal experience. Click here to listen to the hour-long program. 

When My Time Comes depicts Diane Rehm’s exploration of the issue of medical aid in dying (MAID). This is an option for terminally ill patients with six months or less to live who are able to make their own medical decisions and meet certain other legally prescribed criteria.  Available to over 20% of the U.S. population, it is an option that John Rehm, Diane’s husband of 54 years, wanted before he died in 2014, but could not have.

The film tells Diane and John’s story, as well as the stories and perspectives of others as Diane sets out to discover as much as she can about MAID. Viewers will learn what Diane learns, right alongside her, in a series of conversations with patients, family members, physicians, clergy, and lawmakers. A diversity of viewpoints is represented — pro, con, and undecided.

The film will help Americans understand what MAID actually is, and what it is not. Medical aid in dying is not suicide, euthanasia, or many of the other things with which it is sometimes confused. The film will also encourage people to have conversations with their family and their physicians about what they want at the end of their lives, and to have those conversations early.

As Diane testified before the Maryland House of Delegates, “If you believe that God alone should decide when and how you will die, we support you 100%. If you wish to make use of every tool medical science can offer to prolong your life as long as possible, we support you 100%. And if you wish to have medical aid in dying in order to have some control over your death, we support you 100% as well.”