LA Filmmaker Chronicles Parents’ Peaceful Deaths Using Medical Aid in Dying in #1 Ranked Amazon Prime TV Documentary

Take Me Out Feet First” Docuseries Features Terminal Patients Advocating Need for Legalization of Medical Aid in Dying Laws in Other States
June 5, 2024

A Los Angeles filmmaker chronicles her parents’ use of California’s End of Life Option Act and includes other terminally ill advocates for medical aid in dying across the country in a new documentary series streaming on Amazon Prime: “Take Me Out Feet First.”

It is also available on Amazon Prime in the UK and worldwide: outfeetfirst.vhx.tv/

The docuseries is directed by Serene Meshel-Dillman, and developed in partnership with Compassion & Choices. You can watch season one’s 6 episodes here: amazon.com/dp/B0CX3MP6K1. The docuseries is currently listed #1 on Amazon Prime’s Documentary TV listing.

take me out feet first streaming

Episode 1 features Serene’s parents. Her mother, Miriam Reiner Meshel, used California’s End of Life Option Act in 2017 to peacefully end her suffering from a very rare, aggressive cancer. Her father, Robert, initially opposed his wife using the option, but 5 years later changed his mind after receiving his own cancer diagnosis.

“To quote her [Miriam], she didn’t want to suffer and she didn’t want me to suffer,’” says Robert Meshel in this episode 1 clip. “I’m glad she died peacefully watching Baryshnikov dance to his heartbeat … anytime somebody avoids pain and suffering, how can you ever argue with that?”

“I’m sharing these stories because they show the courage, determination, and love both my mom and dad embodied in their final days. They taught us that there’s grace in being in charge of your own destiny,” said Serene. “This law, legal in only 10 U.S. states and D.C., deserves national endorsement. ‘Take Me Out Feet First’ is their legacy.”

Episode 2 profiles Oceanside, CA resident Andrew Flack, who, at 34 faced terminal cancer by starting “The Death With Dignity Podcast” with his roommate in which he chronicled his cancer journey and interviewed many of the people he encountered along the way, including Serene in his last podcast.

Click here to listen to his podcast: deathwithdignitypodcast.com.

“I’ll just kind of go to sleep and have those people [family and friends] with ya,” Flack says in this episode 2 video clip. “And I’d like to be under the stars too, so. And hopefully by the ocean would be nice.”

“I could not be prouder of Andrew for sharing his story to educate lawmakers and the public about the urgent need for medical aid in dying in Illinois and 39 other states,” said Suzy Flack, who lives in the Chicago suburb of Naperville. “While I am relieved Andrew did not have to suffer needlessly, thanks to California’s medical aid-in-dying law, his father and I would have much preferred it if Andrew could have come home to Illinois to spend his last days here. That’s why I am dedicating myself to persuading Illinois lawmakers to pass the End of Life Options for Terminally Ill Patients Act (SB 3499) as soon as possible.”

Episode 6 features four experts in the field of medical aid in dying.

Kim Callinan, president/CEO, Compassion & Choices/Compassion & Choices Action Network, which led the campaign to pass the California End of Life Option Act

“It [medical aid in dying] is a really beautiful final goodbye,” says Callinan in this episode 6 clip. “And so while it doesn’t take the grief of death away, it takes away what we often see, which is, grief around whether or not that person was cared for in the way they would have wanted to.”

Dan Diaz, Brittany Maynard’s husband, addresses their move from California to Oregon to use medical aid in dying in 2014 before this option was legal in California.

“Brittany wanted to live,” says Diaz in this episode 6 clip. “The brain tumor was ending her life. She had no control over that. The only thing Brittany wanted was to know that her last few days on this green earth would not have to be filled with suffering.”

Kaiser Permanente pharmacist Sue Gess, has been present at many bedsides of terminally ill Californians who have taken aid-in-dying medication.

“…I like being able to give people some hope that, that it’s not just a miserable I’m taking a life-ending medication,” says Gess in this episode 6 clip. “You know, there can be a celebration to it.”

California physician Dr. Chandana Banerjee, City of Hope Dean, Director and Designated Institutional Official, Graduate Medical Education.

“…the best part of this is,” says Dr. Banerjee in this episode 6 clip. “…whether people believe in medical aid in dying or support it or not doesn’t matter, because this movement is doing so much more than it was meant to do that I know in 50 years it’ll be a happier place.”

Look for season 2 on Amazon later this year.

English Language Media Contact: Sean Crowley, 202.495.8525, [email protected]
Spanish Language Media Contact: Patricia A. González-Portillo, (323) 819-0310, [email protected]

Compassion & Choices
Media Contacts

Sean Crowley
Media Relations Director
[email protected]

Patricia A. González-Portillo
National Latino Media Director
[email protected]
(323) 819 0310

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