In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide. At the time, only Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands had legalized the practice. 'How to Die in Oregon' tell the stories of those most intimately involved with the practice today -- terminally ill Oregonians, their families, doctors, and friends -- as well as the passage of an assisted suicide law in Washington State
As a firm believer in quality of life and dying with dignity this is a very personal topic for me. I watched a family member wither away from cancer and suffer unnecessarily, so this documentary really hits home. We are introduced to several people suffering from illnesses as they evaluate their life and decide if they want to control their death. Some of the scenes are heartbreaking yet uplifting. It's sad to stand witness so a loved one's passing but oddly comforting knowing that they have made this choice.
This is not a documentary for everyone. A topic as controversial and important as this never is. But it is definitely one to watch.