Scope CEO response to Terry Pratchett documentary on assisted suicide
14 June 2011
Last night BBC2 aired a documentary, Choosing to Die, in which pro-euthanasia author Sir Terry Pratchett follows hotelier Peter Smedley as he ends his life in Switzerland.
Assisted suicide is the act of helping someone else to end their life. Although it remains illegal in the UK in recent years there have been calls to ‘clarify’ or change the law, and in early 2010 the Crown Prosecution Service issued guidelines on when charges should be brought for helping others to die.
Speaking after the documentary, Richard Hawkes, chief executive of Scope, commented:
“The documentary was powerful, thought provoking as well as uncomfortable viewing. Assisted suicide is a complex and emotional issue, and there are loud and passionate voices on both sides of the debate. While celebrities such as Terry Pratchett, and high profile-doctors and lawyers, grab headlines on the issue, we still fear that the views of thousands of ordinary disabled people who could be affected by this issue are being drowned out.
“Recent Scope research indicates that the majority of disabled people would be concerned if the law on assisted suicide were to change. We now know it’s crucial that disabled people’s views are heard and we have a genuinely balanced and open debate in the issue.”
The discussion the programme provoked continues online and in print, and you can even post your thoughts on the Scope Facebook Wall.
Notes to the Editor:
Press and Public Relations Officer
020 7619 7200