UK terrestrial BBC2 has commissioned Sir Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die, an hour-long documentary in which the titular fantasy author explores the realities of assisted suicide.
In the doc, Pratchett – who was diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2008 – considers how he might choose to end his life as his condition progresses and meets people suffering from degenerative conditions.
He also spends time 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,” Pratchett said. “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.”
The doc was commissioned by Charlotte Moore, BBC commissioning editor for documentaries, and is being made by KEO North.
Craig Hunter, KEO North’s executive producer, said: “This intensely personal film, by one of Britain’s best loved authors, tackles a deeply taboo subject with sensitivity and with Pratchett’s idiosyncratic humour. It’s a valuable contribution to the increasingly urgent debate as to who determines when and how we die.”
Moore added: “I hope this sparks a constructive debate that people across the spectrum of opinion can engage in.”