IMDb > How to Die in Oregon (2011)

How to Die in Oregon (2011) More at IMDbPro »

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How to Die in Oregon -- Winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival U.S. Documentary Grand Jury Award, How to Die in Oregon explores the state's historic and controversial Death with Dignity Act, which legalizes physician aid-in-dying for terminally ill patients.


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In 1994 Oregon became the first state to legalize medical aid in dying. At the time, only Belgium, Switzerland... See more » | Add synopsis »
5 wins & 6 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A Very Humane Study of Physician-Assisted Suicide See more (10 total) »


  (in credits order)
Harry Bruton ... Himself
Ray Carnay ... Himself
Cody Curtis ... Herself
Paul Darley ... Himself
Glenn Elfman ... Himself
Ginny Foster ... Herself
Elaine Gallegos ... Herself
Gordon Green ... Himself
Gene Mauldin ... Himself
Randy Niedzielski ... Himself
Adelle Remz ... Herself
Roger Sanger ... Himself
Peter Scott ... Himself
Dave Sheckler ... Himself
Shirley Lang ... Herself
Randy Stroup ... Himself
Stan Curtis ... Himself
Jill Curtis ... Herself
Thomas T. Curtis ... Himself
Linda Darley ... Herself
Donna Depee ... Herself
Linda Elfman ... Herself
Lois Foster ... Herself
Steve Gallegos ... Himself
Bonnie Kory ... Herself
Nancy Niedzielski ... Herself
Bernie Nolan ... Himself
Hal Remz ... Himself
Gail Scott ... Herself

Directed by
Peter Richardson  (as Peter D. Richardson)
Produced by
Jordan Curnes .... associate producer
Jacqueline Glover .... supervising producer: Home Box Office
Sophie Harris .... associate producer
Melody Korenbrot .... executive producer
Sheila Nevins .... executive producer: Home Box Office
Peter Richardson .... producer (as Peter D. Richardson)
Original Music by
Max Richter 
Cinematography by
Peter Richardson  (as Peter D. Richardson)
Film Editing by
Peter Richardson  (as Peter D. Richardson)
Greg Snider 
Production Management
Chris Noviello .... post-production supervisor (as Christopher Noviello)
Sound Department
Lance Limbocker .... sound designer
Visual Effects by
Jalal Jemison .... digital effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Michael A. Brown .... additional camera
Angie Nomie .... additional camera
Editorial Department
James Allen .... additional editor
Geof Bartz .... consulting editor: Home Box Office
Sophie Harris .... assistant editor
Owen Holdren .... digital intermediate technician
Beau Leon .... colorist
Jonathan Liebert .... digital cinema mastering
Susan Martin .... assistant editor
Slater Dixon .... on-line editor (uncredited)
Other crew
Lisa Callif .... legal services
Jonathan Gray .... legal services
Evan Krauss .... legal services
Denise Schantzen .... transcriptions
Harry Bruton .... dedicatee
Ray Carnay .... dedicatee
Cody Curtis .... dedicatee
Jill Curtis .... very special thanks
Stan Curtis .... very special thanks
Thomas T. Curtis .... very special thanks
Liinda Darley .... very special thanks
Paul Darley .... dedicatee
Donna Depee .... very special thanks
Glenn Elfman .... dedicatee
Linda Elfman .... very special thanks
Ginny Foster .... dedicatee
Lois Foster .... very special thanks
Elaine Gallegos .... dedicatee
Steve Gallegos .... very special thanks
Gordon Green .... dedicatee
Bonnie Kory .... very special thanks
Shirley Lang .... dedicatee
Gene Mauldin .... dedicatee
Nancy Niedzielski .... very special thanks
Randy Niedzielski .... dedicatee
Bernie Nolan .... very special thanks
Adelle Remz .... dedicatee
Hal Remz .... very special thanks
Roger Sagner .... dedicatee
Gail Scott .... very special thanks
Peter Scott .... dedicatee
Dave Sheckler .... dedicatee
Randy Stroup .... dedicatee

Other Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
107 min

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33 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
A Very Humane Study of Physician-Assisted Suicide, 15 March 2011
Author: JustCuriosity from Austin, TX, United States

How to Die in Oregon was screened at Austin's SXSW Film Festival where it was very warmly received. This is a powerful, intimate film that closely examines the process of death and how it is carried out in the first state in the nation to legalize physician-assisted suicide, which Oregon did when it passed the Death with Dignity Act in 1994. Director Peter Richardson spent four years on this film which is tender and moving as it profiles several people in the process of contemplating their own mortality and seeking a means by which they can gain control over their own deaths.

The film is difficult to watch at times because it touches on the raw nerve of dying. While the film is clearly sympathetic to the agenda of those seeking to expand access to physician-assisted suicide, it is not, by-and-large, about the political debate. While one section does focus on a widow in Washington state working on a Death with Dignity referendum to fulfill her husband's last wish, even that section is really about her husband's death and her effort to achieve closure. This is mostly a narrative of the human pain of the dying process and the struggle to gain control by deciding how and when to choose one's own death.

The filmmaker does a wonderful job of presenting the case studies, particularly of the central story about liver cancer patient Cody Curtis and her family. Her story forms the backbone of the film and its emotional heart. Richardson manages to present extremely intimate picture that will allow many people to confront and deal with this extremely difficult issue. Our society has not yet figured out how to deal with this extremely difficult issue and films like this are extremely powerful tools for allowing us to begin to have that much-needed conversation.

The film is expected to run on HBO in the near future.

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