By Michael Lutzky
John Grisham says that he has reached his "use by date." He believes in God, and in the dignity of human life, but he also believes that helping people end their lives may sometimes be more compassionate than using machines and drugs to prolong a life already at its end. While he doesn't expect to change anyone else's mind, he demands respect for his own decisions. When his life becomes intolerable, he wants to die on his own terms.
Living with constant pain, and with the knowledge that his time is limited, John spends his days looking for a hospice program that will respect his wishes, or a doctor who will help him to end his life when he decides it is time. In the meantime, he tries to stockpile enough drugs to do the job himself if he needs to.
This unflinching portrait was filmed in Australia's Northern Territory, where Parliament was debating the world's first legislation guaranteeing terminally ill people the right to a physician-assisted death. It includes articulate testimony from physicians on both sides of this controversial issue, but its primary focus is on one courageous man's determination to confront death with dignity.
Purchase $129 VHS
Order No. QA-322
ISBN (VHS) 1-57295-322-5
"An excellent device to facilitate discussion for groups studying the spiritual aspects of assisted suicide as well as courses that deal with geriatric rehabilitation" Journal of Religion, Disability and Health
"This spare and stark black and white production complements the political polarity of opinion on physician-assisted suicide. Recommended for academic collections in bioethics, law, and the sociology of death and dying." MC Journal
Awards & Conference Screenings
New York EXPO of Short Film & Video
American Society on Aging
CINE Golden Eagle
Remembering Tom: This powerful film explores the tragic aftermath of a young manís suicide, and its devastating impact on his entire family.
The Choice of a Lifetime: The disturbing but ultimately inspiring stories of six people, 21 to 73 and from a variety of backgrounds, who stepped back from the brink of suicide.
A Need to Connect: An honest, intimate portrait of a young woman who attempted suicide after the man she loved killed himself in her presence.
Help Me Die: Explores the controversial subject of euthanasia, through the stories of people who seek to end their pain through suicide, and others who choose hospice care.
A Fate Worse than Death?: Families and caregivers confront the heartrending decision of whether to withdraw artificial life supports from loved ones in a coma or vegetative state.