Back in 1994, Oregon became the first state to give the okay to physician-assisted death. The Death with Dignity Act allows some terminally ill patients, ones who are already within six months of their expected death, to choose when to pass.
Clearly this is a testy topic, but that certainly didn’t hold director Peter Richardson back. In his documentary, How to Die in Oregon, Richards features a number of subjects including Cody Curtis, a wife and mother suffering from liver cancer, preparing to utilize her option to pass and Nancy Niedzielski, a woman who lost her husband after a great deal of suffering who is now advocating for the Death with Dignity Act in Washington.
The piece premiered at Sundance to positive albeit emotional reviews. Eye for Film says, “Documentaries don’t come much tougher to watch – or much stronger in terms of argument – than How To Die In Oregon.” Gordon and the Whale reports that the piece “treats its subject matter with such respect that the film is both hard to watch and even harder to turn away from.”
Personally, I might need to build up a bit of courage before checking this one out when it airs on HBO on Thursday, May 26th at 8:00pm ET/PT as Collider points out, “When we look at Cody, we see our own loved ones, and the thought of losing them slowly and painfully is absolutely gut-wrenching.” If you’re interested in testing the waters first, take a look at the film’s trailer as well as some stills below:
By Perri Nemiroff