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The Suicide Tourist


List Price: $24.99
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The Suicide Tourist + Frontline: Facing Death + How to Die in Oregon
Price for all three: $47.24

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Product Details

  • Actors: Terence McKeown
  • Directors: John Zaritsky
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: June 8, 2010
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003C9VEVU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,592 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Do we have the right to end our lives if life itself becomes unbearable, or when we enter the late-stages of painful, terminal illness? The questions, debated for centuries, have only grown more pressing in recent years as medical technology has allowed us to live longer lives, and several U.S. states have legalized physician-assisted suicide. With unique access to Dignitas, the Swiss non-profit that has helped over one thousand people die since 1998, Academy award- winning filmmaker John Zaritsky offers a revealing look at two different couples facing the most difficult decision of their lives-and lets us see for ourselves as one Chicago native makes the trip to Switzerland for what will become the last day of his life.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Patty Kaye TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 21, 2011
Craig Ewert, a man stricken with a condition that will eventually provide him with a long, slow, pain full death has decided to take the matter into his own hands. He chooses to travel with his wife Mary to Switzerland where under the most extreme circumstances, assisted suicide is legal. While there, he is interviewed and approved.

The film shows life in his last days, visiting with his children and conversations with his wife. He breaths from a ventilator, so each breath he takes is a struggle. The law states that he must take the medication under his own will to kill himself, so he has planned to drink an overdose of sleeping medication. As the days count down to his end, he worries that he will lose his ability to drink under his own power, and not be able to go through with it.

The end of the film is the hardest part. Not because of sadness for someone dying, but because with the cameras there, it almost feels intrusive at this point. Zooming in on the face of a man who's about to die. The awareness of the cameras he had up to that point seemed to melt away into a stress one could almost feel through the TV. Knowing what was coming, he waited quietly. His wife beside him remained strong and caring through the whole film. The movie ends with a powerful and sobering clip of Craig in his youth speaking his goodbyes in his own words.

A very real look at life decisions some people are forced to make.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. McGoff on August 17, 2011
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I plan to keep this DVD in mind as I age. I don't think that people have to die the HARD WAY!
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This one isn't easy to watch, but it provides empathetic view on a difficult topic - showing what it's like for both the people afflicted with debilitating terminal illnesses, as well as those who love and care for them.
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Frontline does an outstanding job in its coverage. It neither celebrates an end of a life, nor does it champion the sanctity of it. Just one man's decision to end his life, the impact on his family, and the act itself.
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2 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Jeffery Mingo on June 19, 2010
This news installment follows a man with ALS employing legalized assisted suicide in Switzerland. Take Javier Bardem's "Sea Inside" and make it factual and this is it.
I don't think this will change any person's views on euthanasia (sp?). You just get to watch a family man make that choice. (I'm kinda shocked that the FCC would allow a person killing himself to be shown on TV.) You just get to see the issue from a user's perspective.
This show involved an educationally-privileged and class-privileged man. He had the money to move his wife and himself to Britain. He had the money to pay for this assisted process. I felt like I was watching an elite person with resources dealing with this matter. This isn't about a poor person or an everyday working joe considering this option. Some people say atheism is cerebral and considered by a small set; I felt like this covered a small slice of the American population. I'm having trouble pinpointing it, but there was something that felt elite as opposed to common here.
I think people will laugh hearing a European doctor say "medicament," rather than "medicine." Both the subject and his family speak about "the next stage", "this voyage", etc. I just got the feeling that it was implied that there was an afterlife or that he'd be looking down on the living somehow. It must be remember that death may lead to nothingness and not to some new world, either heavenly, infernal, or something else.
I wonder if people could watch this alongside "Silver Lake" from more than a decade ago. In both, a person watches their ailiing loved one die. However, here one chooses death and there the person was fighting to live.
Some US states allow the very ill to use the fiveleaf plant, but the problem is that the program can get abused.
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