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Sundance Award for "How to Die in Oregon"
Posted by Melissa Barber on January 31, 2011
"How to Die in Oregon," a documentary about Oregon's groundbreaking Death with Dignity law, received one of the highest awards at the Sundance Film Festival over the weekend. The broad base of interest in and high accolades for Peter Richardson's documentary is one more indication of the change in American's understanding and growing support of what it means to die with dignity and be able to decide when and how to die when faced with a terminal illness.
Culturally, films like "How to Die in Oregon" represent a shift in how we think about end-of-life care and dying. Following suit, many legislators around the country are contemplating expanded options for those who are terminally ill. In particular, three states have already introduced legislation emulating the Oregon and Washington Death with Dignity laws: Hawaii, Montana, and New Hampshire. And this is just the beginning.
Lawmakers in other states are drafting Death with Dignity Acts modeled on the tried and true Oregon and Washington laws, and other states are likely to follow suit. We're monitoring the status of these bills. As legislative sessions in all states heat up, check back often to stay up-to-date.
Want to read more about "How to Die in Oregon"? Check out these reviews from folks who went to last week's Sundance Festival:
- "Unflinching End-of-Life Moments" from The New York Times
- "Sundance, Day 8: Death after life" from The Boston Globe
- "HBO's Doc 'How to Die in Oregon' Likely to Stir Debate" from The Hollywood Reporter
- Indie Movies Online
- Gordon and the Whale
Defend dignity. Take action.
You are the key to ensuring well-crafted Death with Dignity laws for all Americans. With your financial and volunteer help, the Death with Dignity National Center, a 501(c)(3), non-partisan, non-profit organization, has been the leading advocate in the death with dignity movement. Member contributions helped us pass a new Death with Dignity law in Washington, defend the Oregon law, and provide education and outreach programs for the vitality of the death with dignity movement.