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At a packed Portland Film Festival on Saturday, I saw the best documentary film ever made on assisted suicide for the terminally ill. (It topped Sundance prizes 2011). Amidst the sorrows of dying and death there were courageous cameos and plenty of love, laughter and hugs. Artistic and tasteful, showing the huge progress right-to-die has made in America. “How to Die in Oregon” by Peter Richardson will show on HBO on May 27, and the Sundance TV channel later.

Physician-assisted suicide for the dying is now lawful in the states of Oregon, Washington and Montana. Only residents may choose to use it. Further attempts to pass similar laws are planned for many New England states.

Within the documentary there is background on the Hemlock Society, which started it all in 1980.

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