Contest Entries

At the Edge of Life

Entrants: Lee Hancock and Sonya N. Hebert

Affiliation: The Dallas Morning News

Large Newspapers (over 250,000 circ.) & wire services

Year: 2008

Place: Third Place

Provide a brief synopsis of the story or stories, including any significant findings.

"At the Edge of Life" explores palliative care's transformative effect for hospital patients and families and clinicians facing life-threatening illness. In narrative stories, photos and videos and online multimedia offerings, the project examines end-of-life decision-making, pain and symptom management, spiritual and psychological challenges for everyone around a hospital bed when cure isn't possible.

Judges' comments: This five-part series, about patients approaching the end of their lives and the palliative care specialists who ease their final days, rings with authenticity and understanding. Fourteen months of reporting, highlighted by reporter Lee Hancock's three solid weeks spent at Baylor University Medical Center, will do that. The writing and accompanying photos put the reader inside the hospital, on rounds and dashing to emergencies with palliative team members. The series makes a strong and undeniable case for every hospital having such teams.

Read "At the Edge of Life."

See the contest questionnaire about how this story was reported.