How to Die in Oregon (2011)
April 7, 2015 2:31 PM - Subscribe

"How to Die in Oregon" is an intimate and personal look at the Death with Dignity laws in Oregon. The documentary primarily follows the final months of Cody Curtis, a 54 year-old cancer patient and mother of two, with her decision regarding her end-of-life planning.

Written by main subject, Cody Curtis, on How We Die: "My Story"

Official Website

NYT review: "Unflinching End-of-Life Moments"
"It seems like a story about dying, but actually it is very much a story about living."
posted by gemutlichkeit (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I didn't know this doc existed. It's a subject I'm greatly interested in. I'm going to have to figure a way to justify (to the mrs) renting it. Thanks!
posted by Thorzdad at 3:17 PM on April 7, 2015

Cody was a very close friend of my mother's, and I knew the whole family somewhat well. (When Cody's daughter Jill is introduced, the movie shows a picture of Jill and Cody that was taken on a backpacking trip our two families took together.)

This documentary does an amazing job of capturing just how extraordinary and vital a woman she was, even to the very end.

(Thorzdad, I may be biased because I cried my eyes out when I saw this in the theater after being unable to get out to Portland for Cody's funeral, but this is not a movie I would spring on a unsuspecting spouse, it's a hell of a thing to sit through).
posted by firechicago at 4:10 PM on April 7, 2015 [4 favorites]

Oh, I wouldn't dream of springing it on her.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:41 AM on April 8, 2015

I thought Cody was so, so vibrant and immediately likeable. Her insights and honesty really made the documentary what it was.

I probably would have liked a little more insight into dissenting perspectives on the Death with Dignity laws or perhaps a more information on the countries in Europe that have allowed this years before it was a thing in the US. But the questions that Cody brings up on life, living, death, dying-- are already very substantial and satisfying, which is why the film as a whole worked well even without those additional perspectives.
posted by gemutlichkeit at 6:53 AM on April 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is a recent New Yorker article that isn't about the documentary, but talks about euthanasia in Belgium, for individuals who suffer from psychological distress: The Death Treatment
posted by gemutlichkeit at 6:36 AM on June 20, 2015

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