The program will be aired, with permission from the BBC, during The North American Discworld Convention 2011 (taking place at the Concourse Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin from July 8-11, 2011), and will feature an in-person introduction by Sir Terry Pratchett and his assistant Rob Wilkins, as well as a post-airing question and answer session by the same.
This documentary will premiere first in the UK at Sheffield Doc/fest on June 11, 2011, and follows on the success of the Scottish BAFTA Award-winning “Terry Pratchett: Living With Alzheimer’s.”
According to the BBC press release:
In “Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die,” world-renowned author Sir Terry Pratchett explores the realities of medically assisted death. Diagnosed with a rare form of early onset Alzheimer's disease in 2008, Terry considers how he might choose to end his life as his condition progresses. Terry meets men suffering from degenerative conditions and is with a British motor neurone sufferer as he carries out an assisted death at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.
Sir Terry says: "I am a firm believer in assisted death. 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."
Sir Terry has said that he would like to choose to end his own life rather than succumb to his degenerative condition. However, he acknowledges that there are a number of people who are against assisted dying for religious, moral or practical reasons and at present, assisted death is both an ethically contentious and illegal act in the UK.
In a moving BBC Two documentary, Sir Terry meets those who, like him, would like to control the way they die.
From across Europe he compares other countries' legal positions with that of the UK and asks what the future is for assisted death in the UK.
Charlotte Moore, Commissioning Editor for Documentaries, says: "Assisted death is an important topic of debate in the UK, and this is a chance for the BBC Two audience to follow Sir Terry as he wrestles with the difficult issues that many across Britain are also faced with. I hope this sparks a constructive debate that people across the spectrum of opinion can engage in."
Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die is an exploration of one of society's most sensitive issues and reunites the best-selling author with the award-winning team that made Terry Pratchett: Living With Alzheimer's.
Craig Hunter, Executive Producer for KEO North: "This intensely personal film, by one 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."
Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die (1x60-minutes) was commissioned by Charlotte Moore and executive produced by Craig Hunter for Keo North and Sam Anthony for the BBC.
A Note from The North American Discworld Convention 2011:
Please be aware that this film covers a controversial topic, and that it features the assisted death of a man on screen. The North American Discworld Convention neither endorses nor disagrees with any occurrences or opinions contained within this documentary. The purpose of this convention is to provide a weekend of programs and events which focus on the life and works of Sir Terry Pratchett, and as such, we are honored to have been given permission to include this documentary in our program schedule.
The North American Discworld Convention 2011:
BBC Press Release: