Star Trek Actor Stewart Backs Assisted Death

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Star Trek Actor Stewart Backs Assisted Death

Post by Guest on Sun Apr 17, 2011 7:13 pm

Star Trek actor Sir Patrick Stewart has spoken out about his wish to be allowed an assisted death.


Sir Patrick was diagnosed with coronary heart disease five years ago

It follows his decision to become a patron of Dignity in Dying, which campaigns for a change in the law. He told the Sunday Times: "A lot of it has to do with my age. I had a heart procedure five years ago. "I was 70 last year and there is something about achieving threescore years and 10, isn't there? Then I had had a family member who had been very ill and quite recently I'd heard the story of an illness and a death." He did not want to go into detail about his female friend's death, but said she was "driven to an extreme situation of ending their life in the most ghastly way".

Sir Patrick, who was diagnosed with coronary heart disease five years ago, said: "I have the strong feeling that, should the time come for me, having had no role in my birth I would like there to be a choice I might make about how I die." He added that the choice to have an assisted death "should be a right". The actor is one of several high-profile names who have expressed their support
for the movement. Last week right-to-die campaigners backed the BBC after it was accused of "acting like a cheerleader" for assisted suicide in a documentary presented by author Sir Terry Pratchett. The programme will show the last moments of a terminally ill man who travelled to a specialist clinic to end his life.


Sir Terry Pratchett also supports the movement

Dr Peter Saunders, campaign director of charity Care Not Killing, said it was regrettable" to show a death on screen, adding he was "concerned" the documentary would not be balanced. But Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity in Dying, supported the planned broadcast, saying it would be "irresponsible not to be discussing this issue".

Sir Terry, who was diagnosed with a form of Alzheimer's disease in 2008, 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." Dignitas was founded in 1998 and takes advantage of Switzerland's liberal laws on assisted suicide under which a person can only be prosecuted if they are deemed to be acting out of self-interest.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Showbiz-News/Star-Trek-Actor-Sir-Patrick-Stewart-Speaks-Of-Wish-to-Be-Allowed-Assisted-Death/Article/201104315974069?lpos=Showbiz_News_Second_UK_News_Article_Teaser_Region_1&lid=ARTICLE_15974069_Star_Trek_Actor_Sir_Patrick_Stewart_Speaks_Of_Wish_to_Be_Allowed_Assisted_Death


I hope that if I am ever diagnosed with a terminal illness I will be in control of my time of death, that if it gets too much, I can end it all with dignity. I wouldn't want to put that responsibility on my husband or my family. Not being able to make this choice may mean that many would have little choice but to end things before they are really ready, but while they are still able Sad

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