“How to Die in Oregon,” exploring the issues surrounding physician-assisted dying.

On November 28, 2012, the Chicago Bridge screened the HBO film, “How to Die in Oregon,” exploring the issues surrounding physician-assisted dying. The film followed several individuals with terminal illness who were considering physician-assisted dying, which is also known by the terms “physician-assisted suicide,” or “death with dignity. “ At this time, the practice is legal in only two states in the U.S. (Oregon and Washington) .The individuals interviewed in the film ranged from an older gentleman who couldn’t wait to gulp down his fatal prescription of Seconol to a younger man with a terminal prognosis of cancer who was outraged at the suggestion of physician-assisted suicide. The film focused on one woman in particular through the stages of planning her exit with her physician as well as family. The film’s length prevented us from watching the entire film. To view it in its entirety or for more information, visit http://www.howtodieinoregon.com/. The screening was followed by an open discussion facilitated by Dr. Sean O’Mahoney and Dr. Maurie Pickard. Both physicians have years of experience in end-of-life care. They shared their extensive knowledge and deep passion while facilitating questions and answers from the audience. The doctors raised thought-provoking questions, such as how socioeconomic status and cultural values affect access to care. Thanks to Lauren Kessler and Theresa Dewey for organizing the event and to CJE SeniorLife and Lieberman Center for providing the beautiful gathering space and dinner. Special thanks to Dr. O’Mahoney and Dr. Pickard. To read more about death and dying on the Chicago Bridge blog check out these articles: 1. DIY Dying by Arlene Wanetick 2. Hospice the Business of Dying– by Alixandra Burns

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