Houston Matters

Playwright Anna Deveare Smith Helps Houstonians Cope With Aging and Declining Health

Baylor College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy wants to engage Houstonians in learning how to “face disease and frailty before you get there.” Let’s face it: while we know we’re all mortal, and that as we age, we decline physically and sometimes mentally. It’s an inevitability we don’t really want to […]

Houston Matters microphonesBaylor College of Medicine’s Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy wants to engage Houstonians in learning how to “face disease and frailty before you get there.” Let’s face it: while we know we’re all mortal, and that as we age, we decline physically and sometimes mentally. It’s an inevitability we don’t really want to linger on. So, how do you get people to talk about and think about something they don’t want to?

That’s where acclaimed actor and playwright Anna Deveare Smith comes in. She’s performing her docudrama Let Me Down Easy at an event the center’s putting on Jan. 17. Deveare-Smith performs character monologues based on real-life interviews she’s conducted, including with late Texas Governor Ann Richards.

We talk with, Dr. Amy McGuire director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy, about how the center hopes to use the performance to jump-start conversation about preparing for and accepting physical decline.

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