Summary

As medical technology has extended the human life span far beyond what many believed possible only decades ago, a growing number of people face the dilemma of having their lives artificially prolonged beyond a point they regard as necessary or desirable. In 1994, the state of Oregon addressed this issue by enacting the "Death With Dignity Act," which allows terminally ill patients the right to opt for physician-assisted suicide. Filmmaker Peter D. Richardson looks into the philosophical and practical implications of this law in the documentary How To Die In Oregon. Richardson features interviews with journalists, lawyers and physicians as they talk about the efforts to legalize physician-assisted suicide, as well as patients and their families as they struggle with the decision of just when is the time to say they've lived long enough, with a special focus placed on Cody Curtis, a woman in her mid-50s fighting an uphill battle with liver cancer. How To Die In Oregon received its world premiere at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi