(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In 1994, Oregon became the first state to legalize physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill. This film explores the experiences of several patients who choose that option as well as some who do not and some who, when it is time, are physically unable to drink the cocktail, as the law requires. The film also follows the efforts of one woman in Washington State to help to pass a similar law in memory of her husband, who died of cancer after much suffering. The crucial part of the Oregon law is that the individual makes the decision and ingests the dose under his or her own power. All the doctor does is write the prescription. Some people have the prescription filled but then don't use it. Some wait longer than they thought they would. But all have the prerogative of dying at home, surrounded by loved ones instead of strangers and devoid of machinery. The question of this action's effects on the family is explored in depth. No one has the right to choose for anyone else, but everyone ought to have the right to choose for themselves. VERDICT This film is recommended for physicians, students, ethicists, patients, and all who wish to live a worthwhile life for as long as they can.--Susan B. Hagloch, formerly with Tuscarawas Cty. P.L., New Philadelphia, OH (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.