How To Die In Oregon Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 31, 2013
While "How to Die in Oregon" is a quietly powerful documentary about an important subject, the idea of dying with dignity, it is also so intense that it is probably not for everyone.

That's due to the intimate nature of the documentary itself that eschews the normal safe route of talking heads and experts and instead spends time with those most affected by the new laws which are now in effect in three states. Of special attention is Cody Curtis, 53, a once active mother of two in Oregon, who was diagnosed with cancer after a grapefruit sized tumor was found in her liver and given only months to live.

As proof against naysayers and critics, "How to Die in Oregon" shows what dying with dignity is not. It is not perfect as a couple of participants talk about being a burden on their families which is actually what they are there for. And it should surprise no one that an insurance company found a way to exploit the law.

Nor is it assisted suicide. Doctors only have to write prescriptions(from $100 to $1,000). As counseled by volunteers from Compassion and Choices, the fatally ill get to choose when they will exit life, not end life(in the words of one participant), and usually in the company of friends and family at home if they so wish. Two questions are asked at the moment of truth: Do you want to change your mind? & What does the medication do? All of which simply reminds us all that death is a natural part of life.
Super Reviewer
February 23, 2012
I basically sobbed through a good portion of this, but I don't know how you couldn't. Its not a film that asks any real questions of the audience and I don't think it will change any minds about the "right to die" issue. However it presents unflinching scenarios of painful, ugly death and the prospect of choice and control in death. Its moving without ever being overly sentimental or political.
June 5, 2013
Beautiful, heartbreaking, thought-provoking--all things that a documentary addressing this topic should be.
½ July 22, 2011
one of the most powerful movie i have ever seen. it will make you grateful for family and loved ones and for the time you have on earth. but most of all it will make you feel alive.
½ May 9, 2011
This is a challenging film to review as it leaves an indelible emotional imprint that stays with you. In fact when I think about it I get a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Dealing with the challenging subject matter of assisted suicide or, as called in Oregon, death with dignity, this documentary is at once heartbreaking and cerebral.

In 1994 Oregon passed the death with dignity law that allows people the right to have doctor prescribed barbiturates to end their life. There is criteria that must be met and the actual death is assisted by trained individuals but administered by the patient himself or herself. As the film starts we see a death carried out. It is sad, unsettling yet oddly peaceful. We then met several other patients who have had their prescriptions filled in case they choose to end their life. We see that it brings each of them a sense of control in an out of control situation.

The last portion of the documentary slowly shifts to following one woman, Cody Curtis as she battles liver cancer. In short Cody is an amazing woman of intelligence, grace and warmth with a loving husband and two children. Cody is amazingly open in discussing her fears, pain, love for her family and her decision to end her life.

Know that this is not an easy viewing experience yet it is rewarding. It will make you think about your own mortality. It will make you examine your perspective on the Death with Dignity law. It will break your heart. I am glad I got to meet Cody and her family through this movie. I would highly recommend this movie to everyone.
November 4, 2011
This Is the most emotionally powerful movie I have ever seen. i still think about every few days even though I saw it over a week ago. The difficulty of the questions it explores regarding a persons individual rights at the end of their life cannot be underestimated. The result through is incredibly uplifting. Codys story is so inspirational. This film likely to inspire a national movement to change the laws that currently restrict end of liefe optional in 48 states. Incredibly complling film which truly transcends the screen.
May 18, 2015
This movie will move you to tears,and make you feel more human than you knew you were.
May 15, 2015
I stumbled across this film about the "Right to Die" movement in Oregon (and Washington State). It is one of the finest documentaries I have ever seen. It will be difficult to shake.
½ March 17, 2015
Fascinating and complicated but ultimately too long and missing vital details.
February 23, 2015
From the opening scene to the last this movie clearly defines the need for assisted suicide in this country. A compelling case indeed to allow those afflicted with terminal illness the right to die with dignity. Thank you, Oregon. May Nevada follow your lead!
February 6, 2015
I cried so much for Cody and her family. In the end her right to end her suffering and her life made the prospect of dying less scary for me, and I'm grateful for that. I hope one day everyone who suffers unimaginable pain is allowed to make this decision for themselves. I also cried for the lady who fought to bring this right to Washington state. She was so brave and tireless.
November 9, 2014
I had this in my queue, avoided it forever, and then sat down for a doc on a Sunday afternoon and thought... maybe it's just about the politics, I'll give it a shot. Nope. There was a very nice lady. She had a very bad cancer. Ended up spending a good chunk of the afternoon in tears. (There are politics in there too.) Totally worth it though. It was an abstract idea; it just seems obvious that people should be able to choose for themselves. This doc makes the idea kind of visceral. How this isn't legal everywhere is beyond me.
September 4, 2014
Moving and compassionate but one of the hardest watches I've ever had. An incredibly powerful observational doc on Oregon's 'Death With Dignity' act and its effect on several families.
½ April 10, 2014
this was super interesting. i'm a little conflicted about the idea though. i can totally see where this may be a good option for some people in some circumstances, however, it's still suicide even though they don't think of it that way. they brought up that we put down our animals so they don't suffer -- same thing right? no -- we make that decision for them, they didn't choose to be put down. not the same thing. i see where they're coming from though, i do... but i just can't help but have this little part of me that thinks it's super selfish to end your own life and put your family through that loss knowing that you chose to leave them. but, like i said, listening to how the families were reacting to it -- it didn't seem as bad as i initially thought. again, i'm conflicted. VERY interesting...
January 7, 2014
Amazing documentary and I respect the individuals who allowed their last moments on earth to be filmed. It's definitely heartbreaking to say the least and after viewing this doc, I unequivocally support the death with dignity law. It just makes sense. And anyone on the fence about the issue should just listen to these individuals' stories. Or if you just want a good cry, you won't be disappointed.
November 26, 2013
this movie sucked dick and I hate Tea. HE jerked off while his MOM was dying. Like wit?????? and then some girl appeared and snorted all of the dying medications
November 17, 2013
It's pretty interesting at the start, but drags on near the end as you wait for the self-centered Cody Curtis to ruin Christmas by killing herself in front of her entire family.

As a Christian who believes in individual rights, I am conflicted with the topic: on one hand I believe we should all have the right to choose what we do with our own bodies and in our own homes - so long as we don't hurt another person, hence the ethical problem with abortion; on the other hand, you can clearly see, with Mrs. Curtis, how her inability to deal with manageable pain leads her to committing to ending her life when it wasn't entirely necessary.

The documentary is well-handled, neither supporting or refuting the concept of assisted suicide. The majority of the film was dedicated to Mrs. Curtis' personal decision making and sucked a lot of the energy from the strong start, but I feel it was a good observation into the life of someone who may be the epitome of why assisted suicide should be more tightly regulated.
November 2, 2013
I cried like a baby and had an existential crisis, this movie is absolute brilliance
½ October 18, 2013
Made with respect (or you might say dignity) for the matter and its subjects.
September 30, 2013
Anyone who would keep those who are suffering terribly from a terminal disease from choosing to shorten their own agony is severely lacking in compassion and empathy. A heartbreaking and beautiful film, and why the hell don't we have Death With Dignity in California? Oh yeah...because most people cannot put themselves in anyone else's shoes, and choose instead to say stupid shit like "I'd keep fighting gosh darn it" from a position of perfect health...or else "suicide is giving up, pull yerself up by yer bootstraps, dad gummit." Lack of compassion, lack of brains, and a surplus of forcing their own viewpoints on others=opposition to this very humane law.
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