BBC2 are creating a 1hr documentary presented by world-renowned author Sir Terry Pratchett. In Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die, He explores the realities of medically assisted death. Having been diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2008, Terry considers how he might choose to end his life as his condition progresses. In a moving documentary he meets those who, like him, would like to control the way they die including a men suffering from degenerative conditions and he is with a British motor neurone sufferer as he carries out an assisted death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
“I am a firm believer in assisted death. I believe everybody possessed of a debilitating and incurable disease should be allowed to pick the hour of their death. And I wanted to know more about Dignitas in case I ever wanted to go there myself.” – Terry Pratchett
Sir Terry has said that he would like to choose to end his own life rather than succumb to his degenerative condition. However, he acknowledges that there are a number of people who are against assisted dying for religious, moral or practical reasons and at present, assisted death is both an ethically contentious and illegal act in the UK. Comparing other European countries’ legal positions he asks what the future is for assisted death in the UK.
The program will be aired on BBC Two in the Summer and Newsnight intend to host a debate following the episode.
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