47) How to Die In Oregon (2011)
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.
9/10 – Another compelling documentary. Aside from the fact that it is fairly one sided, it presents an in-depth and honest portrayal of those looking for ‘Death With Dignity’. We get to know the people involved on an intimate level, and really get an understanding as to why someone would ask to have their life ended. For those wondering, we see within the first 5 minutes someone take their own life so it is clear in this documentary they are not going to shy away from the harsh reality of death.
In my personal opinion, even before watching this film, I believe we should be in favour of supporting ‘Death With Dignity’. I can’t imagine wanting to live with constant, unbearable pain and discomfort that not only affects myself but those around me. I don’t understand why others should decide whether an individual gets to live through their pain or not – it nobodies decision but their own, providing they are of sound mind.
The documentary will definitely rub some people up the wrong way, but it is intended to spark discussion by putting forward a very compelling ‘for’ argument as to why the law exists in Oregon, and why it should exist elsewhere.