Terry Pratchett – Choosing To Die – 2011
The Accurate Source To Find Transcription To Terry Pratchett – Choosing To Die – 2011.”
[Terry Pratchett - Choosing To Die - 2011]
[Terry Pratchett - Choosing To Die - 2011] Source: LYBIO.net
This programme contains scenes which some viewers may find upsetting.
Oh, good. All the best here! It’s like being at the Ritz, isn’t it?
Right, can I just change what I say a little bit?
My name is Terry Pratchett, and I write fantasy novels for a living.
I am 62 and I was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s three years ago.
Sometimes, particularly when I’m depressed, I dread what the future may hold.
And it occurred to me that, in these modern times, one shouldn’t have to fear that sort of thing.
I am talking about assisted dying, which is currently not legal in this country.
What you are about to watch… ..may not be easy, but I believe it’s important.
The people I will meet in this film are all, like me, considering how they will die.
Is it possible for someone like me, or like you, to arrange for themselves the death that they want?
‘Life with Alzheimer’s, at the moment, is full of small but embarrassing inconveniences.
‘I will forget your name almost as soon as you’ve told it to me, because there is something wrong with my short-term memory, and I’m not going to make a joke about that.
‘A few years ago, I stopped being able to type.
‘Now I rely on my assistant, Rob,
‘who takes dictation from me.’ ..reached the undergrowth at the edge of the dockyard…
Until THEY reached the undergrowth. OK.
I’m very nearly finishing the first draft of a book.
I think it’s the 38th Discworld novel. Is it?! Yeah. Bloody hell.
Was it any good? I think…
It’s called Snuff. Which is snuff, you know, the old…
In fact, I think I’ve got some over there.
‘But I know that the time will come when words will fail me.
‘When I can no longer write my books,
‘I’m not sure that I will want to go on living.’
..I will stop the fight when I deem that one man has definitely had enough.
I want to enjoy life for as long as I can squeeze the juice out of it, and then…I’d like to die.
But I don’t quite know how, and I’m not quite sure when.
There are plenty of people in this country who are against assisted dying, for religious, moral or even just practical reasons.
They fear that we may open the floodgates to widespread and uncontrollable killing of the vulnerable.
‘How do you guarantee sincere consent?’
And what happens to those who are left behind?
It’s a delicate subject, but my Alzheimer’s means that I’d like, at least, to explore the options.
‘I want to find out what it would be like to be helped to die.’
SAT NAV: ‘At 1-8 mile, you have reached your destination.’
I began by going to meet a man who has motor neurone disease, a terminal illness.
He had been in contact with Dignitas, an organisation in Switzerland which, for a fee, will help you to die.
Hello! Hello. Good morning! Terry Pratchett. Christine Smedley. Come in. Thank you.
This is my husband, Peter Smedley. Ah, Mr Pratchett. How do you do? I’m delighted to meet you.
Excuse me not…standing up.
No, will you excuse me if I sit down? I’d be delighted.
Would you like a cup of tea? A cup of tea would be very nice.
I have motor neurone disease and I thought I would barely make my birthday in January this year, but… Right.
The course of the disease is most unattractive.
And the fact that there was no… there was no treatment for it. Right.
My condition has deteriorated to a point where I feel I need to go fairly shortly. Mm-hm.
So you almost immediately contacted Dignitas? Yes.
This is not an affliction that one wants to see through to the end. No, indeed.
It’s a beastly, undignified business, and…
..I look on Dignitas as a…as a way out, really, to assist me, to be free of this affliction.
I feel, if I… can fly free of it, that pleases me.
I can’t make any major decision without my wife.
What do you think about your husband’s determination?
We do discuss things, but if I don’t agree, that doesn’t mean to say that he won’t do things.
In theory, at least, you’re putting yourself and your wife in some risk.
That’s the last thing I want. I’ve decided that I will not make a decision until I’m in Switzerland, which is entirely outside the jurisdiction of this island.
The solicitor said, “If Mrs Smedley accompanies you, “it will be against the law, and Mrs Smedley can go to jail for 14 years.”
So Peter wrote back and said, “If it is deemed in the interests of society,
“I’m sure Mrs Smedley will be pleased to do her time.”
TERRY LAUGHS Well, the whole thing is so ridiculous.
I spent 11 weeks sitting with my mother in intensive care in a Sussex hospital, and she kept looking at me and doing this.
And that had a very profound effect on me.
I wouldn’t put my dog or my cat through… an unpleasant, undignified ending, and I don’t want that locked-in feeling for him, so I’m quite supportive, really.
I think it’s a better…better way than eking it out to the end.
The thing that actually worries me about Dignitas… it is a kind of one-stop shop.
You go in, as it were, and you come out in an urn. Yes.
That does not sound right. There is something distasteful about this.
It sounds like machinery. It does. And that’s one step away from using the word Nazi… Yes… ..which I’m not using about Dignitas.
And the fact that they’re German… Probably one shouldn’t say that.
Well, they’re Swiss, actually. They’re Swiss German.
But when you talk to them, it’s slightly Teutonic! LAUGHTER
Right. Are you ready to come for a tour?
Ooh, yes. Wander round.
What was the family business? Canning. Smedley’s. We canned everything.
Fruit, vegetables, peas. We were the first…
You were Smedley’s? Yes. Like Smedley’s Peas?
We are Smedley’s Peas, yes. Yes. I must have eaten an awful lot of Smedley’s Peas.
Yes, that’s my husband’s car. He had a model made.
When I first met Peter, he was driving this.
And he’d had aeroplanes in Rhodesia, which is where I come from.
And my father had had airplanes in Rhodesia, so we suddenly had an awful lot to talk about.
And he said, “Would you like to drive it?”
So I said, “I would – that would be fun.”
That was not a car for driving – that was a car for owning.
It was a car for pulling birds, I think!
It clearly worked! And I think he was quite successful at it!
‘You walk around the house, and things gleam and shine,
‘marvellous things collected over the years, ‘and a wine cellar that I would kill for, ‘and you think, you know, “They’ve got it all.” ‘
You’re up. Let me get you on the go and then I’ll take…
‘You can meet Peter and think, “Well, you’re struggling a bit, but you’ve obviously got money, “so why would you think of assisted dying?” ‘
I’ll take you to the wall.
Lovely. Rather large. They’re generous in their portions. They are.
I did fall over a week or two, a few weeks ago, and I found I couldn’t even get off the floor.
I’m looking for that point in time where I really can’t risk leaving it any longer.
And that’s my deciding factor, really.
You seem to be taking this very calmly, and YOU seem to be taking it very calmly.
If we start being emotional, we both fall apart. We work quite hard at keeping a good front.
I don’t think we’re terribly strong.
I think we’re quite vulnerable underneath.
And if we go there, and Peter says, “Actually, I really don’t want to do this,” that’s fine, we’ll come home again.
Oh, hold on. I would be more than happy to shake you in your chair, I must confess.
I’d rather stand if I can.
OK. Here’s your stick.
Now, if I can turn round as well, that would be splendid.
Terry, it’s been a real joy meeting you.
It’s been an education to meet you, sir.
And the same applies to you, madam. Lovely to meet you. And I will give you a little kiss.
In the French manner or the English? Oh…! Let’s keep going – there’s a lot of Europe! Yes.
‘It struck me that the reason that Peter was going now, perhaps a little earlier than he should, was in order to protect his wife.’
The law regarding assisted dying is not entirely clear-cut.
If you do help somebody to commit suicide…
..you may be prosecuted.
If your motive was love or compassion, then this will be taken into account.
However, it remains illegal.
‘In mainland Europe, they do things differently.’
‘In Belgium, assisted death has been legal since 2002.’
I’m going today to see the widow of Hugo Claus, a very popular author in Belgium.
‘He chose an assisted death.
‘He had Alzheimer’s.’
Hello. Hello. Hello. Veerle?
Nice to meet you, please come in. Thank you very much indeed.
At a certain moment, my husband realised that there was something going wrong.
In the beginning, he just tried to hide it… Yes.
..and I saw it, but I pretended that I didn’t.
You start making all the little excuses, don’t you? Yes, of course, of course.
You say, “Everybody loses the car keys…” Yes, yes.
..but you realise that not everybody loses the car. Mm-hm.
What was it that gave him the clue that something was wrong?
He started to mix up words.
And since words were his core business, that frightened him.
And then I remember he said to me,
“If I have Alzheimer’s, I will not go on living till the bitter end -
“I will put an end to myself.”
But he wanted to write another book.
He said, “When I finish the book, I will take the decision “and I will die, but I first have to finish the book.”
If you’re working on a book, you’ll keep going. Yes.
But he couldn’t finish the book. He had not the skill any more.
Were you with him when he died? Yes. We went to the hospital.
And I remember I brought a very good bottle of champagne with me and I even brought some cigarettes, and it’s not allowed to smoke, but I thought maybe he wants have a last cigarette.
And when his cigarette was finished, and we stopped talking, he said, “I think now I want to lie down.”
I laid myself next to him and I held him.
And I sung a song for him,
and he started singing with me and…..he died singing.
I often think of that moment, of course, and it makes me sad, but, in a way, I was glad for my husband.
Of course, it was terrible, because I miss him.
It was so intense and so warm.
And how can people be against it? I don’t understand. Quite.
May I thank you very much and give you a kiss? I wish you… luck. Thank you.
I think I’m going to need a considerable amount. Yes.
I shall remember you. I shall remember you. Thank you.
What an astonishing lady.
I can’t tell you how good it was to talk to her.
My wife will not object to my ultimate decision.
Yeah. I think that’s probably really all I can say without repeating myself.
My wife is not a fan of assisted dying and would rather not talk about it on camera.
Like me, she is practical.
Like me, there are some things about assisted dying that she is nervous of.
‘I think my wife would prefer to look after me through my illness until the very end.
‘For many people, an alternative to assisted death is going into a hospice to die.
‘I went to meet a man who, like Peter, has motor neurone disease, but, unlike Peter, has chosen to spend his days in a hospice.’
Hello, Mick! Hello, fella. How you doing?
You are a taxi driver, aren’t you? Yeah. You were.
I still am, in me head.
I’m unbeatable. Can you still drive around London in your head?
In me head, yeah. You tell me where you want to go.
I’d like to go to the Athenaeum Club, please.
Woolwich Road… Yeah.
Jamaica Road, Tower Bridge… Coming from… Yeah.
..left down the Embankment… Right. ..on the left, Athenaeum Club. That’s right.
28.50, please. What’s the…?
Do you have a lot of happy memories?
Ah, I have a million happy memories. I don’t.
They’re disappearing at a reasonable rate.
I find myself thinking, “Well, I’m not doing too bad right now.”
You’re doing great, same as me. I think that’s the biggest compliment, is when people come up and say,
“Seven and a half year you’ve had motor neurone? Cor, you’re looking good for that.”
I’m a believer in assisted suicide.
I believe you should be allowed if you think, and your family think, it’s right, then you should be allowed to do it.
But I would say to people…
And I actually got in touch with Switzerland, before I came to the hospice. Right.
But then I looked at it on a more positive side… and I thought, “Well, let’s have another roll of the dice.”
And I’m lucky, cos I had the hospice to fall on. Right.
That’s been my saviour. Right.
The hospice came to MY rescue. So you’ve got to say to yourself,
“Yeah, come on then, let’s have some of that.
“Yeah, come on, let’s see what you can do to help me.”
Well, when IS the end? Will I know when the end is?
What would you say, then, Terry, would be your close to the end?
Not being able to dictate any more, not being able to be a writer any more. Oh, for sure.
Not being able to communicate.
If someone decides they want to go, then they should be allowed to go peacefully and…
So do you think people don’t die peacefully in hospices?
I would not wish to burden my wife.
Your wife might want to look after you.
She says she does, but I know…
Why don’t you believe her? No, no, no…
She says she does. I know she does.
But I think I know more about Alzheimer’s and some of the things that happen than my wife.
‘It occurs to me that the similarity between Mick and Peter’ is that they’ve made their own choice, and I think that is important.
Everybody should have the choice.
But, tragically, there are some people who feel they have no choice at all.
‘In Britain, if you wish to die without being in anyone else’s care, ‘then your only option’ is the good old-fashioned do-it-yourself suicide.
As a journalist, I came across suicide over and over again, which I can heartily not recommend to anybody, having seen the aftermath of quite a few.
‘I went to meet a man who has had to face the dark thoughts ‘that can come with living with a painful and incurable disease, ‘in his case, multiple sclerosis.’
Hello? Hey, there. You would be Andrew, I expect.
Terry. How are you? Fine, thank you. Yourself?
Sorry, it’s not the thing you kind of expect -
Terry Pratchett just to wander into your living room. It’s…
How old are you, Andrew? 42.
When did you get… MS, isn’t it? Yes. MS.
I started to have tiny symptoms going back to the ’90s, but I was actually diagnosed in 2003.
Most mornings, I get out of the bed by falling out of bed.
Then I’ll have to crawl from room to room when I’m bad.
All I have to look forward to now is things getting worse.
It’s like walking down an alley that’s getting…narrower with no doors. It’s sort of…
Less place to move around. Yeah. I can’t, and I don’t want to, live the life I’ve got now.
What other things have you considered?
I have tried and I seem fairly indestructible on that point.
You have tried to kill yourself, yes? Yes.
How many times?
Once was I took three months’ worth of morphine tablets, and that should have flattened an elephant, initially.
But, apparently, no.
All I did is knock myself out for five days.
I kind of opened my eyes, and the very first thing that flashed across my mind was, “Oh, for…!” It was just utter frustration.
It comes to the point where I’m going to have to rely on somebody else, pay somebody else to do it for me, and do it properly.
I would like to have a death which is… comfortable, relatively…painless.
And I’m really of the opinion that… why shouldn’t I?
Do you think you might go one day?
I have an appointment. It’s already sorted. What, actually the day?
Yes, the day. Yeah.
When will you be travelling to Dignitas?
I fly out on Sunday.
I go in there, there’s this…there’s this kid.
I was astonished.
You know, I wish there was time to get to know Andrew.
Very likeable person too.
For a stranger to turn up and say, “No, no, no, you shouldn’t be doing this,” I mean…
You can say, “Have you considered the other options?” and so forth.
There comes a point where you have to say, “This is somebody’s decision, “and it’s their decision,
“it doesn’t mean anyone else should make the same decision, “but that is the decision they want to make.”
‘A few days later, I discovered that the couple I’d met, ‘Peter and Christine, had also booked flights to Switzerland
‘in the very same week as young Andrew.
‘I decided to follow them, ‘to find out about assisted dying for myself.’
It was December, just a few weeks before Christmas.
The car’s running outside, and we’re just about to leave and I’m feeling really…
I just feel really weird about it.
It just feels the weirdest thing -
to go somewhere to die. It doesn’t stack up.
‘But they’re nice guys and they’re going to Switzerland to die, and it feels like the worst… ‘it IS the worst thing in the world and it feels so wrong.’
Ever since we began this odyssey…
..I tend to… Woke up at seven in the morning…
‘..and a head full of questions,
‘which I hope to get answers for.’
“Dignitas was founded in 1998 by Ludwig A Minelli…
“a Swiss lawyer.” I didn’t know that.
What was the term you picked up that was used?
“21% of people receiving assisted dying in Dignitas
“do not have terminal or progressive illnesses
but rather a ‘weariness of life’.”
What do you do about someone who is hellbent on wanting to die, even if they appear to be fit and well?
But who owns your life?
‘Switzerland is the only country in the world
‘where foreigners can go to be helped to die.’
Mr Minelli. Hello, Terry. Nice to meet you.
It’s nice to meet you. Source: LYBIO.net
At the office of…
‘For roughly £10,000, Mr Minelli’s non-profit organisation
‘will make all the arrangements necessary for you to end your life.
‘This includes cremation
‘or transportation of the body back home.
‘In the past 12 years, they’ve helped over 1,100 people to die.
‘Even in Switzerland, Minelli is a controversial figure.’
Before you went into the Hades business, what did you do then?
I got acquainted with the European Convention on Human Rights, and this has changed my life.
And in Article 8, there is the right to self-determination.
You mean an actual human right to die?
An actual human right to die.
Even when they haven’t a terminal or progressive illness?
Even if it is just a weariness of life? Yes. You know, the right to self-determination should include also the right to make a decision upon one’s own end.
Well, here are the files of our members.
The white files are the files of members who are still living.
about 70% of them will never call again after having got the provisional green light.
Knowing that you can…
often means that you won’t.
To know that you can go gives you strength.
‘Mr Minelli took me on a drive
’20 minutes out of Zurich to the apartment where you go to die.’
And there you have the Alps with fresh snow.
‘For many, this is their final journey.’
I have also brought along fine tea, because I thought you are Englishman and would like to drink also tea.
I have 50 different teas at my home and therefore I am a teologian, and this is the only teology which I accept.
‘Swiss nationals may be helped to die in their own homes…’
There we are.
‘..but for us foreigners,
‘this little blue house is where you end your life.’
Cup of tea? That would be very kind of you, thank you very much.
Well, this is one of the two rooms where an accompaniment takes place.
Either in the bed or there in the seat.
We have another room.
‘If you come here you’ll be met by two Dignitas escorts – ‘not doctors – who guide you through the process.’
Sometimes it happens that we have two different families here, so that we need two rooms for accompaniments.
And do the two families meet?
Because they are not finished at the same time.
The person who wants to die must make the last act in their life herself or himself.
No opposition, no depression.
This miserable life at the end will have an end, finally.
And then we have our garden.
So it is a very peaceful place.
As much as it can be on an industrial estate!
Yes, and following a decision of the Swiss federal court, we can only be in an industrial area and not in a residential area.
I think I can see their thinking for it.
Not in my back yard. Yes!
There is nothing special or unusual.
Something spinning along in the factory next door.
People come in here and leave dead.
Minelli’s belief that everyone should have an unequivocal right to an assisted death worries me in an English kind of way.
I would not like to live in a world where anyone could die more or less at any time, more or less on a whim.
Maybe there are better ways of doing it.
‘That evening I went to meet Peter and his wife Christine, who had just arrived in Zurich.’
Would you care to knock?
Is that a doorbell? Nope.
‘Peter was about to be assessed by a doctor hired by Dignitas.’
Hello. Good evening, hello.
Try to stand up again.
It’s difficult alone, is it?
Yes, I really have to get to the point of balance.
I’m afraid the floor is rather slippery.
‘The doctor had to make certain that Peter was of sound mind, ‘and that he understood the process of drinking the poison that would kill him.’
Have you ever felt depressed during the time of your illness?
No, I’m not a depressed sort of person.
I’ve, I’ve, I’ve…
..had mixed feelings about it, of course, but I wouldn’t call it depression.
You have to drink two different things.
I believe that’s correct, yes. I think one is to assist one in retaining the second, because it’s an unpleasant-tasting…
Yes, that’s true.
And your stomach would reject it immediately, as if it would know it is no good for your health.
Yes, I see. Yes, I understand.
Usually within about 10-15 minutes death comes in because you stop breathing. You have no oxygen.
Well, that sounds fine. It’s a wonderful release. Yes.
You should drink it quick and in one go.
Don’t start sipping.
If you start sipping and put the glass down, you will go to sleep and it will not kill you.
You must drink the whole lot… In one go. ..in one go. Right.
Could we have two glasses? I will show you.
So you have a look.
Try to keep your mouth closed.
Have a look how you can do it.
Well, that’s perfect. That’s perfect.
You will have no problem at all.
I would like you to think about it again. Yes. Till tomorrow.
Take your time. Right.
You can always say no. I understand that.
The other man I’d met in England, young Andrew, had already had his two assessments by a doctor and been given the green light.
‘He was due to die the next day.’
And then it was time to say goodbye to Andrew.
OK. I’ve composed myself, and are you ready for this?
We’re going to go and meet Andrew.
Yes, I think I’m absolutely ready for Andrew.
OK. Let’s go. Let’s go and say goodbye.
He’s going now, if I can put it like this, because the going is good.
And he doesn’t want to wait longer.
He shouldn’t be dying now, he shouldn’t be forced to die now.
I feel for his family that he’s chosen a time just before Christmas.
It’s such a blob in the diary.
That was his decision.
I think it’s a bad one for the people left behind.
He might be coming to the end of HIS life, but he has to give consideration to those he’s leaving behind.
I’d like to hear what he has to say about that.
Yes, Rob, you be the one to ask him.
Sir Terry, how are you? I’m fine. And yourself?
One day there will be protocols for occasions like this.
What do you say?
There’ll be a card you can get…
“Congratulations on your forthcoming, er…death!”
The ironic thing I’ve found over this past couple of days
is I’ve absolutely fallen in love with Zurich.
You know you’ve got to go, but there’s the mountains, so many nice things you see and you think… Do I…?
Do I have to go? Argh.
You and me and Terry are sitting here and you’re saying you like Zurich and it’s like, “Come on, “let’s all go off to CERN tomorrow, let’s go to the visitor’s centre.”
There’s still so much life left in you.
Why did you choose now?
I was having such big problems, so quick, there was a genuine fear about the practicalities of, if I don’t do it soon I won’t be able to do it at all.
It’s been difficult enough for me to get this far, and I’m lucky that my folks came along.
And I didn’t think they would.
I didn’t feel as though I had the…
I couldn’t ask anybody. That would be a real awful thing to do to them, ask them for the ultimate – “Do you mind helping me to kill myself?”
This is the deadline as far as you are concerned?
You’re still going to go? Oh, yeah. You’re absolutely definite? Mm-hmm.
The die is cast.
What more can I say?
‘Andrew told me that his mother
‘was not very keen on his proposed journey to Switzerland.
‘I was surprised, therefore, when I met her.’
We’re here with him to support him.
So as a mother I am going to swing like this next week.
Should I have torn up the passport?
You know, anything in desperation to keep him.
But it’s selfish. ‘Tis a selfish and not a loving thing to do.
I don’t think like Andrew thinks on this one.
I always think tomorrow is another day.
It’s just so stressful and so hurtful for us all
to have to be in a country that isn’t home.
And I’m going to have to go home tomorrow without my son.
And I shall, in due course, apparently, get some ashes delivered.
We’ll just have to get through it
because we can’t bear to think of him lying in a bed, in some of the conditions we know he could possibly end up in.
It took me a long, long while to realise
that the quality of life that he has now is not acceptable.
Doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks.
It is their decision, and I think it’s their right.
You’ve probably done more good with that speech than I have in a long time.
It wasn’t a speech. It’s what I feel here.
Well, exactly. It was what you feel.
It is what I feel.
Definitely what I feel.
He’ll be very, very missed, and I’ll be very, very lonely without him. We’ll miss him, too.
Once again. On the other side.
Absolutely. Take care.
There is a young man going to die today,
and so we thought we’d have a drink.
Here’s the thing!
Met him last night and he gave me a list of his favourite albums, one of which he was going to have played
as he passed away.
Nimrod is a good one.
MUSIC: “Nimrod” by Elgar
Andrew has gone, and I assume has gone around about now.
Wish you were in England.
Here’s to that.
‘We went back to witness Peter’s second and final assessment, ‘to see whether the doctor would allow him to die.’
Hello, Mr Smedley. Good morning to you. I’m sorry to be so late.
When I see people with these illnesses,
for me it is quite difficult to decide, is it the right time to go.
If I say no, you have to go home, you can’t die.
Understood. Yes, I…
I understand what you’re saying.
You are the only person who can decide which is the right moment.
You’re sure you want to do this?
Oh, yes. I’ve been always quite convinced all the time.
Have you been listening to yourself, or have you been talking to your wife?
Oh, no, it’s my own conclusions.
If he was listening to me, he’d stay at home for Christmas.
It’s amazing but it’s much easier for the one who can go
than for the ones who have to stay behind. I understand that.
I obviously don’t want him to go, I feel that it’s going to be tough on me but I think it’s going to be a great relief for you.
She would like you to wait. Yes.
Yes, she would.
I mean, Peter’s been my other half for 40 years
and it’s going to be a terrible wrench. Yes.
Peter seemed to have made his decision,
but the choices for me are still uncertain.
‘My Alzheimer’s complicates matters.
‘I decided to ask the doctor ‘whether one day she would ever be able to help me.’
Alzheimer’s is not painful, or at least it’s described like that, but it seems to me…
Not painful for your body, extremely painful for your mind.
The big problem with Alzheimer’s is that you feel reasonably OK
up to a certain point, and then there’s a tipping point.
If you wait too long you are past the point that you have a clear mind, that you can make up your mind and you must have a clear mind.
Right now my mind is like steel.
Yes, but with Alzheimer’s you can have quite clear moments
and very complicated moments. This is a big, big…
I fully understand, but supposing somebody says,
“Should I be where I’m not in a position to make a decision, “I nevertheless wish to take whatever the killing draught is.”
He won’t be able to take it himself, will he?
No, he would have to be given it.
You have to inject it.
And you think no doctor would do that?
I wouldn’t do it.
I give the poison to human being.He takes it and he decides whether he wants to take it or not.
It’s something different to inject it and he cannot say what he wants.
I think I wouldn’t be able to do that.
‘The problem with Alzheimer’s is that by the time that you are ready ‘to ask for an assisted death, you may not be able to speak.
‘And so the Alzheimer’s patient would have to choose’ to die…earlier than might really be necessary.
‘I realise that in many ways my situation is just like Peter’s. I asked Peter and Christine ‘if I could accompany them on the following day, and they agreed.’
I think I am going to see a man die.
At his own request.
Good morning, Terry.
May I have your bag? Source: LYBIO.net
‘This is a pleasant place.
‘They are pleasant people.’
But what’s going on here isn’t exactly medicine.
A winter day, a Swiss winter day.
Everything looks lovely.
Can you manage?
Yes. I think so.
I’m just tired.
Lift your legs up here. Right, yes.
Are you going to have tea or coffee or anything?
I’m having coffee, darling.
Das heisst noch ein Tee. Will er einen Kaffee?
Ja, ja, und einen Tee. Sie will einen Kaffee? Sie will einen Tee.
Peter, you don’t mind if I ask you several times – are you sure you want to die today?
Yes, I’m sure. Yes, I’m sure.
I can’t believe the calmness.
Peter’s chatting away as if this is a tea party.
I feel I have very little choice, really, in the grand design.
Unfortunately we have papers to fill out. Of course. Yes, I understand.
Maybe want one for you too?
I’m sorry for all this paperwork, but it’s necessary.
That’s all right, of course I understand.
That’s fine, it all makes perfect good sense.
Shall I take the initial…?
Don’t ask me. It’s your decision, darling. Yes.
I’ll take it. It’s just the timing.
I’m quite prepared to do it now.
When you’re ready.
Yes. Yes, yes.
So I shall go and prepare the drops?
Yes, please. I’ll be back in a minute.
Thank you, Erika. You’re welcome.
Right. Thank you. The drops for the stomach. Yes?
Right? Taste OK too?
Yes, the taste is not bad.
No cup of tea or something to drink?
No. I’ve had my drink now.
That’ll do me.
That was fairly innocuous, I must say, that drink.
The next one is the…
Take these with the pills.
Tell me which ones you like.
I don’t think it will matter a great deal. Praline?
The blues are always good.
This one here? No, that one and that one.
Not the praline?
How long have we been here, by the way?
I think you said it was quarter past.
Ten minutes…it’s 25. Oh. Minutes past.
It’s funny, strange how time
has different values at different occasions.
Not that I’m in a hurry. But I’m just…
Just interested to know how long we’ve been…
Move my foot there, that’s better.
Shall I be away? No.
No, I’d rather you… Well, if you don’t mind.
You shouldn’t be away from him.
Well, if you really want to be away from him. But, er…
No, I just didn’t want to be appearing to assist him.
No, I don’t think that would be the case.
Peter Lawrence Smedley, are you sure that you want to drink this medicament with which you will sleep and die?
Yes, I’m quite sure that’s what I want to do.
I give you the medicament.
You’re sure? I’m sure.
You can have chocolate now.
Oh. What a ghastly taste.
Worse than the one before this? Yes.
Bye-bye, Peter. Bye-bye, Erika.
Thank you for looking after me.
And I’d like to thank everybody else.
They’ve been first class too.
Terry… Goodbye. It’s been a privilege.
My wife’s very good at putting me to sleep just by rubbing my hands.
Be strong, my darling. I will.
Just relax. Yup.
No. No water.
He’s sleeping now, very deep.
No pain at all.
He’s snoring and sleeping very, very deep. He feels unconsciousness, and then afterwards the breathing will stop, and then the heart.
Are you all right, Terry?
Well…for a given value of fine!
It’s what he wanted.
He was ready to go. Yes.
Now you are allowed to cry.
Let it come out. It does you good.
Everything you kept inside until now, let it out.
I don’t think I can do that.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve seen a death.
I’m fine, yeah.
His wife is now bustling off to organise something,
but I can totally understand why.
Can I say that I was extremely impressed by how it was done.
I thought that was wonderful.
Thank you, Terry.
As for his wife, makes me proud to be English.
This has been a happy event.
We’ve seen a man die peacefully, more or less in the arms of his wife.
so that we never…
were actually certain exactly when he passed away.
And when one thinks of all the other ways
a person can die, and in what circumstances, that would count, as they say, as a result.
In this time, in this place, there’s something good about the snow.
Yeah. It’s the right kind of snow.
I was in the presence of the bravest man I’d ever met.
I’m not certain I could do that.
I’m not certain that my hand wouldn’t shake.
But then I’m not certain what I would really do
if I was really there.
I want to stay around as long as I can, to see assisted dying done properly in the UK.
Well, if I die… I don’t mean if I die!
When I die – and all men die – I would like to die
out in the sunshine.
I suppose sometimes the sun shines in Switzerland.
Produced By KEO North For BBC Scotland
Terry Pratchett – Choosing To Die – 2011. I think I am going to see a man die. At his own request. Complete Full Transcript, Dialogue, Remarks, Saying, Quotes, Words And Text.
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