Now Streaming on Amazon Prime, “Take Me Out Feet First,” a Documentary Series on Aid in Dying

The Docuseries Features Terminally Ill People Who Advocate for Dying on Their Own Terms
May 8, 2024

Amazon Prime is debuting a new series directed by Serene Meshel-Dillman, and developed in partnership with Compassion & Choices. You can watch “Take Me Out Feet Firstby clicking here: amazon.com/dp/B0CX3MP6K1.

Director Serene Meshel-Dillman watching her dad drink aid-in-dying medication

“Take Me Out Feet First” Director Serene Meshel-Dillman watching her dad drink aid-in-dying medication

“The terminally ill advocates featured in this series are some of the bravest and most altruistic people I have ever met,” said Kim Callinan, president/CEO of Compassion & Choices, who is featured in episode 6. “Some urged lawmakers to pass medical aid-in-dying bills despite knowing they would likely die before they became law. Others helped us defend medical aid-in-dying laws from lawsuits seeking to overturn these laws. We owe them and Serene our ever-lasting gratitude for their passionate advocacy on behalf of other terminally ill Americans who desperately need this option.”

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 Meshel, opposed his wife using the option, but years later, changed his mind. 

“I’m sharing their story because it shows 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 Illinois native Andrew Flack, who, at 34 faced terminal cancer by starting a podcast with his roommate entitled, “‘The Death With Dignity podcast,” in which he chronicled his cancer journey and interviewed many of the people he encountered along the way. Click here to have a listen: deathwithdignitypodcast.com

Episode 3 profiles Danna Nelson, a 26-year-old trombonist who returned to Minnesota from school in Finland after being diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer to live with her parents who helped care for her until the end.

Episode 4 profiles Colorado resident Mimi Ankerholz, a 49-year-old woman with metastatic breast cancer as she discusses her family relationships and her decision to end her life in an interview two days before she used medical aid in dying. 

Episode 5 profiles Erika Gergerich, Ph.D, a Professor of Medical Social Work in New Mexico who was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer when she was 8-1/2 months pregnant. Already a single mom, Erika moved back to be near her family in Arkansas so her parents could help care for her and her new baby. 

Episode 5 also profiles Michigan resident Trisha White, who has stage 4 metastatic breast cancer. Trisha is the youngest of 5 siblings who were all brought up in a religious home. As a staunch atheist, Trisha navigates the love and support offered by family and friends while fiercely guarding her independence.  

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

Kim Callinan, president/CEO, Compassion & Choices/Compassion & Choices Action Network. Kimberly’s grandmother had an advanced directive that was not honored. When she was dying in a hospital she tried to pull her tubes out. Conversely, her grandfather had a beautiful end by his own choice and his family was able to say goodbye.

Dan Diaz, Brittany Maynard’s husband, tells how Brittany felt that “having a good dying process was an extension of having lived a good life.” They moved from California to Oregon to use MAID in 2014 before medical aid in dying was legal in California. 

Kaiser Permanente pharmacist Sue Gess, who has been present at many bedsides, explains the medicine ingestion process for MAID.  

California physician Dr. Chandana Banerjee, City of Hope Dean, Director and Designated Institutional Official, Graduate Medical Education. “The dying patient is a person with profound suffering, facing agony,” she says. “Why would you not want them to have a peaceful end?”

Look for season 2 on Amazon later this year.

Variety story on “Take Me Out Feet First”

variety.com/2024/film/news/take-me-out-feet-first-docuseries-amazon-prime-video-1235993717/

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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VICTORY: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the improved End-of-Life Options Act.

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