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the suicide tourist

The Suicide Tourist

DIRECTED BY
John Zaritsky

ANNOUNCER: Tonight on FRONTLINE-

CRAIG EWERT: I'm off to do something that would not be my choice had I other options.

ANNOUNCER: -a story about struggling to live-

MARY EWERT: I love you.

CRAIG EWERT: I love you, sweetheart.

ANNOUNCER: -and deciding when to die.

CRAIG EWERT: I guess I'm ready for the medicine.

ANNOUNCER: Is this a choice everyone should have?

ARTHUR BERNARD, Dignitas: If you drink this, you're going to die.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight, from Academy-Award-winning filmmaker John Zaritsky, a portrait of one man's last days and a personal exploration of one of our most controversial questions.

CRAIG EWERT: If somebody wants to take their own life, obviously, they feel a reason for that. You may not think it's a good reason. I may not think it's a good reason. But you know what? It's that person's life.

MARY EWERT: Safe journey.

ANNOUNCER: Tonight on FRONTLINE, The Suicide Tourist.

CRAIG EWERT: I am dying. There is no sense in trying to deny that fact, nor my conviction that the end of my long journey through life is rather close. Rather surprisingly, I find that I feel much the way I imagine immigrants to America must have felt in the 19th century. I cannot stay where I have been, and I embark on a journey to a destination of which I have only heard the vaguest rumors.

NARRATOR: On the day of his scheduled suicide, Craig Ewert arrives at an apartment building in Zurich, Switzerland, along with his wife, Mary. Five months earlier, Ewert, a 59-year-old American, was diagnosed with ALS, often called Lou Gehrig's disease. If he carries through with his plan, his body will leave this building in a hearse by the end of the day.

CRAIG EWERT: I'm not really asking myself if I want to do it or not. I do want to do it. But you know, there are other things in my life that I've wanted to do that I didn't do.

[Four days earlier]

MARY EWERT: So the nurse the other day didn't shave you, did she?

NARRATOR: A Chicago native, Craig Ewert began to seriously consider suicide in the summer of 2006, while living in northern England.

CRAIG EWERT: It got to be the middle of the August, and- and I fell down, coming inside from having been out. And it was rather traumatic for me. And that's really when I kind of started thinking, "You know, this is serious. I've- I've deteriorated enough." You can only watch so much of yourself drain away before you kind of look at what's left and say, "This is an empty shell."

MARY EWERT: Now, let's take this off. I'm worried that that's going to develop into a problem, just like the bridge of your nose did.

CRAIG EWERT: Once I become completely paralyzed, and then I'm nothing more than, in a sense, you know, a tube that takes in some nutrients, probably through a tube in the stomach, and then I excrete. Then I have to be cleaned and watched. And- and it's painful.

MARY EWERT: Sorry. Does it need more cream, do you think, or what? It doesn't look too bad. I'll get some cream in a bit. OK?

I probably appear to be rather unmoved, perhaps people would say. I don't know. But I think the thing is to remember that we've been dealing with this for months and months, so that probably my worst times were when they were just kind of coming up with the diagnosis. I think having to do the daily care sort of makes you have to be-

INTERVIEWER: Stronger.

MARY EWERT: Yeah. And just- you know, it's daily life. You have to get on. You either do that or you fall apart. And what good does the latter do?

CRAIG EWERT: We talked about it. We talked about, do I really want to do this? And when do we want to do it? We discuss everything.

NARRATOR: When Craig and Mary first met in the late 1960s, Mary was an outgoing Irish Catholic girl from a conservative family and Craig was an introverted agnostic.

CRAIG EWERT: How did we meet?

MARY EWERT: Oh, it was a dark and stormy night!

CRAIG EWERT: So to speak. I was getting kind of desperate for a woman. I was driven by the gonads. So I asked my friend if his girlfriend could set me up with a blind date for one- I think it might have been a concert or something.

MARY EWERT: And I didn't know where we were going to go-

CRAIG EWERT: I don't know.

MARY EWERT: -because we didn't get to go there.

CRAIG EWERT: No, we didn't.

MARY EWERT: Because that was the day Martin Luther King was assassinated. So that was why it was a dark and stormy night.

NARRATOR: The following summer, Craig and Mary eloped.

MARY EWERT: It was as if there was sort of quick courtship. This is fun. Marriage. And then, the realization that-

CRAIG EWERT: Oh, my God, I'm married!

MARY EWERT: -I'm married. How do I relate to this person?

CRAIG EWERT: It took me a long time to realize I needed to talk to her. I refused to give up on this marriage. And I think you did, too.

MARY EWERT: Uh-huh.

CRAIG EWERT: And by golly, if we had to get through some rocky points to- to keep it going, we would.

MARY EWERT: So we always say we've been married 37 years, and 32 of them have been wonderful.

NARRATOR: During those years, Craig became a professor of computer science while Mary raised their two children in a suburb of Chicago. Craig retired early and wanted to live abroad after the kids were grown. He took a part-time teaching job in England while Mary studied for a Ph.D. in law.

CRAIG EWERT: We'd established a very nice rhythm of life. And we lived together and cared for each other. It was a very nice life. And I had hopes that it would go on for a decade or so.

NARRATOR: Then early in 2006, Craig said he began feeling strangely weak, and it was not long after that he received his ALS diagnosis.

CRAIG EWERT: Not going to get a chance to be a cantankerous old man.

MARY EWERT: I know. Well, you're a cantankerous enough middle-aged man, so-

NARRATOR: As his condition steadily worsened, he began to actively pursue the option of physician-assisted suicide. His research led him to a controversial organization based in this neighborhood outside Zurich, Switzerland. It's called Dignitas and it's the most active of the country's four assisted suicide groups. Its founder is human rights lawyer Ludwig Minelli, says the group has facilitated over 1,000 deaths.

[www.pbs.org: More on Dignitas]

LUDWIG MINELLI, Founder and Director, Dignitas: If somebody's coming and tells us, "I have enough of this awful life and I would like to go now," we should have the opportunity to help him.

NARRATOR: Assisted suicide is legal in Switzerland and several other countries, as well as three U.S. states. But only Switzerland allows outsiders to come in to end their lives, leading to mounting criticism about "suicide tourism." The backlash against Ludwig Minelli has been especially sharp as his 30-year campaign for the right to die has led him to take increasingly provocative positions.

LUDWIG MINELLI: We all know that suicide happens. And when you are saying suicide should not happen, you make taboo of suicide. So we should change the starting point of suicide prevention, saying suicide is a marvelous possibility for a human being to restore themself from a situation which is unbearable.

MARY EWERT: Do you want some chocolate?

CRAIG EWERT: I'd be just happier with the grapes.

NARRATOR: An assisted suicide through Dignitas would require Craig to perform the final act himself by drinking the liquid sedative that would end his life. But he's worried that he may soon lose the ability to swallow.

CRAIG EWERT: I can't take that risk because, I mean, that's- that's really choosing to be tortured, rather than to end this journey and then start the next one.

MARY EWERT: Now, a few grapes?

CRAIG EWERT: That'd be nice.

MARY EWERT: These are kind of the last of the grapes.

CRAIG EWERT: I'm not tired of living. I'm tired of the disease, but I'm not tired of living. And I still enjoy it enough that I'd like- I'd like to continue. But the thing is that I really can't.

MARY EWERT: Are you getting tired of cucumber?

CRAIG EWERT: I'm getting tired of vegetables.

MARY EWERT: You are? Well, I guess you can stop having them when you want to. You've almost-

NARRATOR: Craig knew from his research that ALS sufferers live on average two to five years. But Craig's disease was progressing rapidly and he feared total paralysis.

CRAIG EWERT: And a lot of the statements you read are, like, "Most people have a peaceful death." That's fine for "most people." But what if I'm one of those who doesn't? What might look peaceful from the outside does not necessarily reflect the internal mental state of the person. Let's face it, when you're completely paralyzed, can't talk, can't move your eyes, can't move your arms, how do you let somebody know you're suffering? They look at you, and you're still. And usually, we associate suffering with people kind of rolling around and going "Ow, ow, ow." There's none of that. Gee, it must be peaceful. Well, no, it doesn't have to be peaceful. This could be a complete and utter hell.

NARRATOR: Before setting a date to die, Mary and Craig invited their two children to come to England for one last visit.

IVAN EWERT: I think it was a great gift to me because I was able to be sure that he heard what I had to tell him and that he understood, and he knew how fiercely I loved him, and still do, and how proud I am of him, how proud I was to be a member of his family throughout his life and in the courage and manner of seeking his death.

KATRINA EWERT: I tried not to cry in front of him a lot while I was there because I didn't want- I don't know why. [weeps] But I did finally cry in front of him. And I said, "You know what? I don't want you to think that I'm not sad." And I just gave him a hug and a kiss and I said good-bye!

NARRATOR: A few weeks later, Mary and Craig contacted Dignitas and set the date for Craig's suicide. Using a voice-activated computer, Craig dictated his thoughts about his coming death in an e-mail to his children back in America.

CRAIG EWERT: I am dying, period. There is no sense in trying to deny that fact. I truly expect that death is the end, comma, that there is no everlasting soul, comma, no afterlife, period. Feel free to speak to me at any time - dash - I probably won't answer, comma, but then I was frequently more of an ear than a mouth.

MARY EWERT: So this is our video chat for today, which I will be sending to- to our family.

CRAIG EWERT: Hey, there, family.

MARY EWERT: So we went to the park this morning because-

CRAIG EWERT: We had coffee.

MARY EWERT: We had coffee. And then it looked like it was going to rain, but now it's sunny out. I wasn't sure exactly how it's going to work. So we're going to try to wrap this up now because I'm sure you're getting fatigued of looking at us.

CRAIG EWERT: I can't wave, but I'm trying to. There we go.

At this point, you know, I've- I've- I've got two choices. I either actually go through with it, or I say, "You know what? I'm too scared right- right now. I- I don't want to do it." If I go through with it, I die, as I must at some point. If I don't go through with it, my choice is essentially to suffer and to inflict suffering on my family, and then die, possibly in a way that is considerably more stressful and painful than this way. I've got death. I've got suffering and death. Well gee, you know, this makes a whole lot of sense to me.

MARY EWERT: What do you think about this power toothbrush? Do you think it helps at all? Yeah?

CRAIG EWERT: Uh-huh.

There are people who will look at this and say, "No, suicide is wrong. God has forbidden it. You cannot play God and take your own life." Well, all right, fine. But you know what? This ventilator is playing God. If I had lived without access to technology, chances are I would be dead now, all right? When premature babies are born, they are given intensive medical treatment. Their lives are saved because doctors and nurses are playing God. They're saying, essentially, "God's plan was that this person would die right now. We're thwarting that. We're playing God."

And you know, they never say, "We have to stop organ transplants. We have to stop saving premature babies. We have to let them die." Oh, no. For that, it's OK to play God. It's only when it might ease somebody's suffering that, "Oh, we can't play God" comes out.

MARY EWERT: How would you feel about a cup of coffee in a little bit? Yeah? OK. I'll go get that ready.

CRAIG EWERT: And do we have a flapjack?

MARY EWERT: We do have a flapjack, a chocolate one. Would you like that? OK. I'll be back shortly. Are you all set there?

CRAIG EWERT: Yes.

MARY EWERT: OK.

CRAIG EWERT: There is an old parable about a monk who's being chased by a tiger. The monk comes to a- to a cliff, scrambles over the cliff and finds a tree root to hold onto. So he holds onto the tree root. The tiger is prowling around up above, sniffing and growling, waiting for him to come back up so he can eat him. He looks down to the ground, and there's another tiger waiting for him to let go and fall. And the tiger's going to eat him when he falls.

And he looks around, and he- he spots a strawberry bush with one perfect strawberry on it. So he reaches out, plucks the strawberry, eats it with great contentment and declares it delicious.

And I've kind of taken that as- as a good way to live your life. You know, the fact that I know the date I'm supposed to die simply makes definite what was previously indefinite and unknown. But it's still the case that the only thing you've got is this second. Right now, I'm alive. And if I can enjoy what I'm doing now, if I can feel that it is worthwhile, that's really all I can ask of it.

We've got a lot of the orange blossoms on this tall plant. It's just incredibly large.

MARY EWERT: It has that smell.

CRAIG EWERT: Does it?

MARY EWERT: Yeah. Would you like to take your thing off?

CRAIG EWERT: Yeah, take it off.

MARY EWERT: And try to get the smell? Shall I turn it off? OK. Can you smell it?

CRAIG EWERT: Yes.

Well, you know, it's just so peaceful here and I like touching bases with it. It's- I see the plants and they're dying, and I'm dying, too. Kind of a little kinship there. They'll be coming back next spring. I'm unlikely to. I've had a pretty good run. I think I can take my bow and say, "Thanks, it's been fun," and do it again.

MARY EWERT: So we hope that you're well. We're going to send this video. It's about 10:00 o'clock. We wish you a lovely evening. And we love you both. OK. Love you! We'll talk to you soon. Bye.

CRAIG EWERT: I love you.

MARY EWERT: I love you, too.

NARRATOR: Two days before her husband's scheduled suicide, Mary Ewert reviewed travel details with Dignitas employee Silvan Luley.

SILVAN LULEY, Dignitas: I just wanted to sort of double check with you in regard of the- of the journey.

MARY EWERT: The estimated time of arrival, Zurich time, is 19:55. So that's almost 8:00 o'clock in the evening.

SILVAN LULEY: OK.

MARY EWERT: Oh, I had one more question for you-

NARRATOR: Craig had decided that, at the time of his death, he wanted to listen to the first movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony.

MARY EWERT: -if there is a CD player available if we wanted to bring some music along or-

SILVAN LULEY: CD player is there.

MARY EWERT: It is there? OK, very good.

OK, here we go.

CRAIG EWERT: I'm scared.

MARY EWERT: Hmm?

CRAIG EWERT: I'm scared.

MARY EWERT: I know. Of being there, right?

CRAIG EWERT: I'm scared of everything.

MARY EWERT: You're scared of everything? Well, I would be, too.

CRAIG EWERT: I'm running like a rabbit.

MARY EWERT: No, you're not! If you were running like a rabbit, you wouldn't have to do this now.

CRAIG EWERT: I wouldn't be here.

MARY EWERT: All right, here we go, down the corridor. Looking for the white light, right?

CRAIG EWERT: Feels bizarre. In a way, it's kind of like the first day of school. You don't really know what's going to happen.

It's hard to realize that I'm not going to read my books again. I'm not going to hear my music. I'm leaving it behind. I'm off to do something that would not be my choice had I other options. That is sad, but on the other hand, I do have the adventure of dying coming up. And if there is anything beyond that, I have that adventure.

NARRATOR: It's now the day before Craig's scheduled suicide, but according to Swiss law, the Ewerts can't go forward without a doctor's approval. Dr. Hans-Jurg Schweizer, a retired surgeon, is one of the few doctors willing to work with Dignitas. He's agreed to review Craig's records and to decide whether to prescribe the lethal sedative. But he's cautious. The Swiss government has been pressuring doctors to restrict assisted suicide to only the most desperate cases. Still, patients like Craig remain good candidates.

Dr. HANS-JURG SCHWEIZER: I've decided, according to the papers, that I feel I can write the recipe to grab the medicament. I have this recipe already written. It is here. But my question usually is, you know when you drink, what is happening? It is nothing else but a sleeping medication. It's a sleeping medication in a very high dosage because it has no sense when you want to go to sleep forever, that you wake up. And this is something you want to be sure, and we can assure you that you will not wake up anymore. OK?

CRAIG EWERT: That's what I'm looking for.

Dr. HANS-JURG SCHWEIZER: That's what you are looking for.

CRAIG EWERT: I'm here because I want to be. At any point in time, I can change my mind and say, "You know what? Not today." And that will be respected by everyone present. I'll lose a little self-respect, but that's my problem. Based on everything I've heard and what I've read, I have a fair idea, I believe, of what to expect, right up to the point where- well, I guess where I'm dead.

Dr. HANS-JURG SCHWEIZER: Yeah.

CRAIG EWERT: At which point-

Dr. HANS-JURG SCHWEIZER: Yes, yes-

CRAIG EWERT: -nobody knows what the hell's going on. So I'll just hope.

LUDWIG MINELLI: Craig, I usually say "Happy journey."

CRAIG EWERT: Thank you.

NARRATOR: Once the doctor has written the prescription for the fatal dose of sodium pentobarbital, a Dignitas representative will pick it up at a pharmacy. Ludwig Minelli occasionally performs these errands, but he never attends a death, in part, he's acknowledged, to insulate himself from any possible legal problems.

LUDWIG MINELLI: I am never present at assisted suicide because I do not mix the functions. I am the director of Dignitas. I have to choose to give instructions to my collaborators. And so I cannot mix myself in the functions.

[www.pbs.org: Join the discussion]

NARRATOR: Dignitas has often struggled to find a place for its assisted suicides. They rented this Zurich apartment around the time of Craig Ewert's scheduled death. Arthur Bernard, a retired social worker, arrives here to be Craig's escort, the man who will prepare the fatal drug and help him drink it.

ARTHUR BERNARD, Dignitas: I really do not know much before I come, you know? I have no prejudice, nothing. I've just got the full person, the full human being that comes to me directly in the moment. And that's, for me, important, you know?

NARRATOR: Arthur Bernard believes that his first responsibility is to make sure that those he helps die are really ready. On rare occasions, he tells us, that isn't the case.

ARTHUR BERNARD: There was a man in the middle age. And we talked to him. He came alone. And then he said- to make it short, you know,he said, "Today- it's not a time today to die." He wanted to talk to his children again. He did not say, really, adieu, good-bye to his children. So he went back. And he had quite a journey to go back. But I was glad, you know?

CRAIG EWERT: You know, in terms of having my children there at the end, I figured, well, in a sense, maybe they have the same- same feeling that, you know, it would be easier for them. And I also realized that it would be easier for me if they weren't here because if they- if they were here, I'd be talking to them and I would probably want to keep talking to them. And I anticipate that it would have been more difficult for me to go through with it.

KATRINA EWERT: I think I was glad. I was glad that this decision was made for me. I didn't really want to have to make this decision of whether I was going to be there or not because part of me would have liked to have been there, and part of me thought, "Wow, that's going to be really hard."

ARTHUR BERNARD: I remember now a guy came from Liverpool. He was rather younger guy, yeah, and he was very badly ill, you know? He could not move anymore. But he could talk, and he was very intelligent, you know? And he asked me, "Have you got some Beatles music, the Mersey sound?" And I said, "I'm afraid- I'm sorry. I don't have Beatles music. But I know the Beatles. Maybe, if you don't mind, we sing together." So we sang together "A Long and Winding Road," "Obladee, obladah." It was the last moment of his life.

CRAIG EWERT: It is a sad occasion. And you make the best you can out of it, but you know, it is, ultimately, sad. And while I'll enjoy the strawberries while I can- while I can find them, sometimes- sometimes, you know, I just look at the tiger. And I'm- and I'm sad. Now, I can't afford to look too much because, frankly, if I start crying, I'm not going to be able to breathe. So you know, I- I pretty well have to pull off from that. And you've been very strong with this. You've cried on occasion. But by and large, you've- you've been supportive of my choices and you've always been there for me to talk with.

MARY EWERT: And you, me.

CRAIG EWERT: And when I'm scared, I- I could talk with you. And when I just have something I want to unload, I talk with you.

MARY EWERT: Another value of learning to talk, right?

CRAIG EWERT: Yes, it has been. You've been very good for me.

[www.pbs.org: Watch this program on line]

ARTHUR BERNARD: It's somehow like a surprise every time, you know? I don't know what happens. So I don't think much about it because I meet these people, and it's like a new day, you know, a new world, yeah?

NARRATOR: At 9:40 AM on the day of his scheduled suicide, Craig Ewert arrives at the apartment, where he and Mary are met by Arthur Bernard and Silvan Luley of Dignitas. He begins the process that will lead, within hours, to his death.

ARTHUR BERNARD: Are you all right?

CRAIG EWERT: OK.

ARTHUR BERNARD: I move you here on the terrace, is all right? I'll explain now to you the procedure.

CRAIG EWERT: OK.

ARTHUR BERNARD: First I'll give you a drink to support your stomach. And when you drink that, we have time- you can wait an hour, about. Then you can take the last medicament.

I have another question, Mr. Ewert. When you drink the last medicament, I usually make a video just of the act of drinking so that the Swiss officials that I can see that you have drunk it yourself and nobody helped you. Of course, if it's necessary, I can hold the glass. But you have to drink it yourself. So if you don't mind, I'll make this video, if you have no objections.

CRAIG EWERT: It's not my intent to cause difficulties for anyone. You are helping me.

ARTHUR BERNARD: But it's you that- you decide, huh? And you decide when is time that you want to drink.

CRAIG EWERT: OK.

ARTHUR BERNARD: You can tell me. You can wait. We can talk. You have- I have time the whole day. It's up to you. So it doesn't matter if you drink the first drink, or if you want to wait.

CRAIG EWERT: I might as well.

ARTHUR BERNARD: You take it now, huh? OK. I go and prepare it.

CRAIG EWERT: OK.

SILVAN LULEY: As I explained, we have a special device which is meant to switch off the current supply for the- for the breathing aide.

CRAIG EWERT: Yes.

SILVAN LULEY: So the timer starts, and it's set to about 45 minutes. Then, after 45 minutes, it will switch off the- the electricity supply to the breathing aide.

ARTHUR BERNARD: If you want to take the first drink.?

NARRATOR: At around 11:00 AM, Craig drinks the medicine that will prepare his stomach for the lethal sedative to come.

ARTHUR BERNARD: How does it taste? Not too bad, huh? No?

CRAIG EWERT: It's not too bad, but I sure would- I wouldn't rank it high on my favorites.

ARTHUR BERNARD: You prefer the apple juice, huh? OK.

SILVAN LULEY: I think it might be good if you do a quick rehearsal whether you can activate the switch.

CRAIG EWERT: OK.

SILVAN LULEY: The easiest is to press with your fingers. And you have to- I'll hold this for you. And you have to activate it, if you can.

CRAIG EWERT: No.

SILVAN LULEY: Well, then, the alternative is to bite on it. Do you think you can handle that?

CRAIG EWERT: I can do that.

SILVAN LULEY: OK, well let's try it. OK. I'll hold it for you. There we go. And now the timer is set on 45 minutes, all right?

CRAIG EWERT: I guess I'm mildly curious.

SILVAN LULEY: I beg your pardon?

CRAIG EWERT: I see that there are settings for 15 minutes, 25 minutes. Why was 45 minutes chosen?

SILVAN LULEY: Well, 45 minutes have been chosen because after the drinking the sodium pentobarbital, you fall asleep usually around- within about five minutes. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer, a little bit shorter. But usually, it's around four or five minutes. And then the effects of the sodium pentobarbital come after usually about half an hour.

CRAIG EWERT: Ah, OK.

SILVAN LULEY: So that leaves sufficient time to say, "Well, sodium pentobarbital worked," And death would have occurred if not the breathing aide would keep you alive, so to say.

CRAIG EWERT: OK, that makes sense to me. I've learned something new. Every day, learn something new.

MARY EWERT: Even in the last moments.

CRAIG EWERT: Even in the last day. Thank you.

SILVAN LULEY: No problem.

CRAIG EWERT: So I guess I'm ready for the medicine.

ARTHUR BERNARD: Shall I prepare the medicament, huh? Yeah. OK.

CRAIG EWERT: Scratch my left eyebrow? Ah! My right eye underneath. Ah! Thanks.

MARY EWERT: All righty.

CRAIG EWERT: I think I see my medicine.

MARY EWERT: Can I give you a big kiss?

CRAIG EWERT: Of course.

MARY EWERT: OK. I love you!

CRAIG EWERT: I love you, sweetheart! So much!

MARY EWERT: OK. Have a safe journey. And I'll see you some day!

ARTHUR BERNARD: Are you ready to activate the timer?

CRAIG EWERT: I'm ready to activate.

ARTHUR BERNARD: OK.

SILVAN LULEY: OK. Very good. The timer is switched on now. And it's now running.

ARTHUR BERNARD: Mr. Ewert, if you drink this, you are going to die.

CRAIG EWERT: Yes. Ugh! Give me some more apple juice. Please? And can I have some music?

MARY EWERT: Music?

ARTHUR BERNARD: Music.

MARY EWERT: OK, just a little bit more, it looks like.

ARTHUR BERNARD: Can you drink this?

CRAIG EWERT: Thank you.

MARY EWERT: Safe journey. Have a good sleep.

ARTHUR BERNARD: He's gone.

MARY EWERT: He's gone?

NARRATOR: As required under Swiss law, Arthur Bernard telephones the police to notify them of Craig Ewert's suicide.

In a routine procedure that the Swiss prosecutor did not want filmed, the authorities conducted a brief investigation and watched the videotape. After they determined that Craig's suicide had been voluntary, his body was taken to a crematorium. The Ewerts had already paid Dignitas about $4,500 to cover the cost of his assisted suicide, cremation, and shipment of his ashes back to Mary.

From her hotel, Mary Ewert phoned her children and other family members and e-mailed close friends to tell them of Craig's death.

MARY EWERT: If, in some ways, I seem a bit contained, I think it's because, in a sense, I lost Craig six months ago as he was. And so with that said, we still had time to talk. And we talked a lot. So in that way, I probably- we probably had more of one another than, maybe, in the past. But sort of the healthy life goes on sort of manner, that was gone. And I think I was very sad when that happened.

I say I feel his presence. Now, to some people, that would be like the spirit hovering or whatever. I don't know, but I know that we had a great time together, and that he left me with a lot of happy memories. So where he is is really immaterial.

CRAIG EWERT: Someone once said, "He is not completely gone as long as one person remembers his name." My love and best wishes to all of you.

Craig Colby Ewert
1947-2006

DIRECTED BY
John Zaritsky

WRITTEN BY
John Zaritsky
Terence McKeown

PRODUCED BY
Terence McKeown

EDITED BY
Stuart de Jong

SENIOR PRODUCER
Ken Dornstein

ADDITIONAL EDITING
David Espar

MUSIC COMPOSED BY
Daniel Séquin

CINEMATOGRAPHER
Ian Kerr

SOUND
Patrick Brereton

PRODUCTION MANAGER
Laurie Case

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER
Mark Mauchline

PRODUCTION ACCOUNTANT
Christina Lynch

PRODUCTION LAWYER
Diana Cafazzo

FIELD COORDINATORS (Switzerland)
Simone Thommen
Misha Luechinger

ADDITIONAL CAMERA
Michael Costelloe
Matthias Kaelin

ADDITIONAL SOUND
Mark Nuttar
Balthasar Jucker

ONLINE EDITOR
Jim Ferguson

SOUND MIX
Jim Sullivan

ASSISTANT EDITORS
James Perry
Jeremy Wilcox

GRAPHIC DESIGN
Ian Kirby

ADDITIONAL GRAPHICS
Morgan Marshall

TRANSCRIPTIONS
Trace Sitter

ARCHIVAL RESEARCH
Paula Sawadsky

ARCHIVAL SOURCES
CTV News Archive
CP Photo Services
(c) Province
CP/Penticton Herald (Mark Brett)
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ANNOUNCER: Explore more of this story on our Web site, where you can watch the full program again on line, view the story of another couple seeking the help of Dignitas, get more information about assisted suicide in the United States and abroad, learn how members of the Ewert family are doing three years after the making of this film. Let us know our opinion, and please join the discussion at PBS.org.

In the days after Katrina, violent encounters between police and civilians.

- People were shot and killed by the New Orleans Police Department.

ANNOUNCER: Six controversial cases.

- There's no police report. They said something about a shootout.

ANNOUNCER: The Times-Picayune, Pro Publica, FRONTLINE and you uncover the truth.

- There are all these unanswered questions.

ANNOUNCER: An on-line investigation of Law and Disorder at PBS.org.

FRONTLINE's The Suicide Tourist is available on DVD. To order, visit Shoppbs.org or call 1-800-PLAY-PBS. [$24.99 & s/h]

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posted march 2, 2010

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