Last Friday's documentary class showed, How to Die in Oregon. The movie is about the law in Oregon that allows doctors to prescribe a lethal dose of pills to persons with a diagnosis of less than six months to live. This was timely as Massachusetts has a similar bill that people will vote on in a couple of weeks. It was a sensitive, very well done, relatively balanced documentary. The woman in the photo, Cody, had advanced liver cancer. She had a kind and understanding doctor, family and friends. She had a period of remission and so lived longer than the six months. Being in control was very important to her and her family understood that.
The film showed other people who made a similar decision and also showed some people who were against the legislation. I feel strongly that people who are of clear mind and definitely want to be in control should have this option. I'm sure I would want it. In the movie we saw when Cody became very ill, the pain she was in before she made the decision. The movie maker did not show her final hour or so.
The discussion after the movie was thoughtful and, as with this group of adults, open, honest and touched various sides of the issue. I realized that really, even though I am quite healthy, I should have those important legal documents, a medical proxy, a living will and a power of attorney for my near-by daughter. I know how I will vote on the question, and I am going to follow through with the paperwork I should have. I think I've dragged my feet out of a mixture of (probable) overconfidence and denial. I think many other people do the same thing, at least until they get a scary diagnosis. The film was shown at Sundance and I think it can be attained several places. It's worth watching.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!