Terry Gross, host of NPR’s “Fresh Air,” had a rich conversation this week (March 9, 2021) with freelance journalist and author Katie Englehart about the legal and ethical debates around the right to die.
The prompt for the interview was Engelhart’s new book “The Inevitable: Dispatches on the Right to Die.” One of the case studies in that book was the story of Debra Koosed, a 65-year-old Oregon woman who was diagnosed with dementia and sought underground help in ending her life. “Her Life,” published in the now-defunct California Sunday Magazine, was featured in a Storyboard interview and annotation with Engelhart earlier this month.
Last October, we featured another annotation of Engelhart’s “insider” piece about the Life Care Center in Kirkland, Washington, which was the first hotspot of COVID in the U.S. We put “insider” in quotes because Engelhart’s relentless and sensitive reporting methods take readers deep into the rooms and decisions at Life Care, where almost 50 people died early in the pandemic, without ever entering the facility herself. She reported the entire piece, also published in California Sunday, by phone and internet from her home in Toronto.
“What Happened in Room 10” was awarded a 2020 George Polk Award for magazine reporting. We’ll be watching for more recognition for her exceptional work, and encourage you to read our interviews to learn how she makes it happen.
You can listen to the “Fresh Air” interview below: