How to Die in Oregon

What a wonderful documentary! I can see why it won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and I can only hope it does equally well at the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival.

This is a sensitive portrait of several Oregonians who are candidates for Death With Dignity, i.e., physician-assisted suicide. We are treated to the full spectrum of opinions, from funny, alert old geezers who have not only made the decision, they have embraced it; to one skinny fellow who has nothing nice to say about it...or anything else, for that matter!

Throughout the film, we keep touching base with a lovely woman who has been given six months to live because her liver cancer is terminal. She is a delight: forthright, loving, highly intelligent and clear-eyed about her prognosis. We follow her progress avidly because we come to care so much about her, her wonderful husband and her two loving adult children. AND we appreciate the dignity with which she is treated.

We also follow a recent widow from neighboring Washington State whose husband made her promise to get a law passed to spare others from the horrific death he had to endure (he wasn't eligible in Oregon), so she had to learn public speaking. At the time, only Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands had a similar law.

We all have to go some time, so having a modicum of choice is important. Do NOT miss this one!