Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Terry Pratchet: Choosing to Die

It's one of the most moving, harrowing, thoughtful and heartbreaking programmes that I have ever watched.

Sir Terry Pratchet's sincere but powerful documentary shown last night on the issue of assisted dying reduced me to tears.

Peter Smedley
The 60 minute long programme can be viewed for the next few days on BBC's iplayer right here -


I encourage anyone who has yet to watch it, to do so.

As a man of faith myself, I can not better the words of Ollie Dunckley who blogged his own thoughts on this most sensitive of issues earlier today.

In his blog post here at How I see it - Who Really Wants to Die... he makes these very apt comments...

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"Perhaps the most moving part of the whole documentary was the moment in which Peter allowed us to witness him consuming the drugs that would save him from fear and suffering. By doing this, Peter showed people that he had made peace with the decision to die. What a brave man.

"I was quite literally moved to tears. To see a person liberated from fear is a truly beautiful thing. Peter sat peacefully with his hand in his wife's as he gradually drifted to sleep".

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For such a young man of 19, Ollie has an old head on his shoulders and I commend him on a wonderful blog post that deals with the issues around assisted dying and I would encourage readers of this blog to read his views via the link above.

RIP Peter Smedley 1930 - 2010
RIP Andrew Colgan 1968 - 2010


  1. I didnt see the programme, but I have read Ollie's blog and it is a brilliant piece of writing and well argued, for someone so young.

    I laugh at you commenting on his age as if you are a wise old sage, yourself. LOL

    I have always believed in choice, which is a Conservative word they keep using, especially at election time, when its your choice of school, hospital or anything else in life. But when it comes to death, the fall in with the right wing Christian nutters saying life is sacred.

    Like Ollie, I am NOT religious, and like him, I consider life to be sacred in most cases. I dont support the death penalty (apart from some well deserved cases like Mladic).

    Jesus Christ preached forgiveness and I try to lead my life as JC would have done, but being a Christian does not mean that only they have the right to say what is right and wrong. Christians talk of life being sacred and are often anti abortion, but often these people (especially in the USA) are pro death penalty. The death penalty is a form of revenge, not justice.

    As a believer in choice, I am more than happy to support someone who could have the same ternminal illness that I might have, but choose to suffer and maybe live a few more days or weeks than me.

    However, the right wing Christians are the same people who impose THEIR will on my choice, so as far as I am concerned, they can butt out of my life. If I wanted to choose to die, that is only my business, not yours, so stop interfering in my life and my choice to die.

    Obviously, I have no desire to depart this life as there are so many things I want to achieve and see. However, I never expected 25 years ago when I joined the SDP, that I would see the party in Government!

    All I ask is that a facility is put in place to allow assisted dying in the UK. I dont like the word suicide. There must be hoops to jump through, so all these pathetic excuses given that the elderly or disabled will be bundled off to a modern day gas chamber has to be well and truly quashed.

    I want a good death. One at my own choosing if I so wish, if my health is so bad, and one here in the UK as I dont hold a passport to get me to Switzerland at the moment! I do not wish to suffer as my dad did and it took me 10 years to get over that.

    Why all the fuss over assisted dying? Its my right like all the other decisions I make in life. In the end, I hope I just go to bed and dont wake up, so I am none the wiser, whether it happens tonight, or in 10, 20 or 30 years time. But in the meantime, life is to be lived.

  2. Hope this should not happen with you any time. I wish your future to be secured and happening.