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Need to Know, February 4, 2011: Egypt, end-of-life care, Alzheimer’s

Amid the protests in Egypt this week, we turn our attention to the political tension between Egypt and the U.S. and the diplomatic choices that the Obama administration must make to balance its geopolitical interests with its democratic values. Also, medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay explains a breakthrough new brain scan that can help doctors detect and diagnose Alzheimer’s earlier than ever.

Also: We sit down with Dr. Atul Gawande of The New Yorker to discuss the removal of funding for end-of-life counseling in the Health Care Reform Act, and what strategies could be at play for dismantling other aspects of the act.

And: Co-host Jon Meacham speaks with filmmaker Eugene Jarecki about his new documentary exploring the life and legacy of former President Ronald Reagan.

Tune in this Friday — check your local listings for details.

Reagan: The ‘boxer in a corner’

Jon Meacham speaks to award-winning documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki about his latest film “Reagan.”

America and the Egyptian crisis: A closer look

As the protests in Egypt intensify, how does America navigate between its democratic values and its geopolitical interests? Need to Know examines the diplomatic moves the U.S. is likely to make as the Obama administration tries to balance leadership and being perceived as overbearing in a volatile situation.

Michele Dunne on the roots of the uprising

Need to Know talks with Michele Dunne, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and editor of the online journal Arab Reform Bulletin, about the protests in Cairo.

Planning for the final months

NOW on PBS accompanies Dr. Gerlyn Brasic as she travels to discuss end-of-life decisions with 77-year old Hollie Coleman, a cancer patient in Wisconsin.

Atul Gawande on end-of-life counseling

As the Health Care Reform Act is attacked in courts and Congress, Need to Know discusses the quiet removal of one controversial provision, funding for end-of-life counseling (so-called “Death Panels”) with Dr. Atul Gawande, author and medical writer for The New Yorker.

New Alzheimer’s test offers hope

Medical correspondent Dr. Emily Senay explains the importance of a new brain scan that can help doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s disease earlier than ever.

Jon Meacham: Our friends, the dictators

Jon Meacham discusses the situation in Egypt and looks at America’s checkered history with authoritarian and totalitarian regimes.

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