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Pratchett’s balance on assisted suicide

29 June 2011


From Janet Barlow

Sir, — The Bishop of Exeter, the Rt Revd Michael Langrish, must have missed parts of the Pratchett programme on assisted dying (News, 17 June). I thought its creators did their best to present a balanced picture.

There was a section showing a contented man who had chosen to live out his days in a hospice; there were the gestures, facial expressions, and, indeed, words of Sir Terry’s assistant, clearly hostile to the whole experience; and there was the mention of the expense of the Zurich way out, £10,000.

Besides this, there was the dying man’s obvious distress in the last moments, choking and gasping for water — enough to put anyone off. Not least, there was Sir Terry’s final comment, that he did not think he would have the courage to do this. As he repeatedly affirmed, he did not make the programme to encourage suicide, but to enable the topic to be discussed.

Ash Lea Cottage, Ravenstonedale
Kirkby Stephen
Cumbria CA17 4NG

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