Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die

Terry Pratchett: Choosing To Die

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Ratings: 8.84/10 from 123 users.

Terry Pratchett: Choosing To DieIn a frank and personal documentary, author Sir Terry Pratchett considers how he might choose to end his life.

Diagnosed with Alzheimer's in 2008, Terry wants to know whether he might be able to end his life before his disease takes over.

Traveling to the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland, Terry witnesses first hand the procedures set out for assisted death, and confronts the point at which he would have to take the lethal drug.

Sir Terry Pratchett has made an emotional plea for the right to take his own life, saying: I live in hope I can jump before I am pushed.

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student
student
5 years ago

omg crying out loud at the end.. for his wife

Juli Alexander
Juli Alexander
8 years ago

Pro-euthanasia.

elmer pastorini
elmer pastorini
9 years ago

Americans do not honor their family, elders or the ill. My mom was tortured to death in a CA nursing home, abused, and died a horrific death for no other reason that she was expendable to my family. God forgive me for not forcing her to live with me in NV which she hated or quitting my work to care for her. I will never forgive myself. This is how it should be. Again, read John in the Bible thoroughly. If you are not rich, young or shallow, you are of no value in the US. If you are elderly or disabled, a pariah. God bless Dignitas. Mommy, forgive me for not knowing of them. I hope I can die there with dignity. God please forgive those that know not what they do as Christ always did. God Bless the lovely wife and the great man who were themselves, classy, funny and loving. God Bless Dignitas for a dignified return to the creator for He always understood. Sometimes enough is enough. And it is time to go home. Please forgive me, my family, and the choices I made in the past that caused me not to have a bank account that allowed me to me to be lovable. Crazy world. But great people out there that get it.

B-G
B-G
10 years ago

A powerful and compassionate story. I experienced the decline of my dear brother, who had Huntington's Disease, and his personal decision to take his own life. I believe assisted dying, in an empathetic environment of educated and caring professionals is a far more humane way to end one's life than traumatic suicide.

jackmax
jackmax
10 years ago

How is it that we will put down a sick or injured animal for humane reasons yet we don't allow us humans the same dignity.
Dr Philip Nitschke said “Every person of sound mind should have the option of a peaceful death and it should not be up to others to assess or judge,”
Euthanasia and assisted suicide should be an option to all terminally ill or suffers of chronic pain.
Why doesn't society allow an individual with an incurable condition the right to seek assistance to end their own life?

Donna Rideout
Donna Rideout
11 years ago

Thank u for sharing that. It is what we all deserve, if that is what we choose. Done very respectfully. This is what I want....

Erik Enrique
Erik Enrique
11 years ago

Espledid... thanks for share it and long live in our hearts to sir Terry Pratchett.... We will meet soon, sir.

Fox Howton
Fox Howton
11 years ago

Thank you to the uploader.

emanuele
emanuele
11 years ago

God gave us the life, our life belongs to him. We can't decide to stop our life.
Disease and pain allow us to follow the path of Christ towards the ethernity!
Let us meditate on all the love of Christ

Ivana Karlsson
Ivana Karlsson
11 years ago

I just learned today that he is ill. I have been reading Pratchett with delight for many years, it's hard to think about that there will not be any more books from him!

Jodi Goldsmith
Jodi Goldsmith
11 years ago

It's so rare to see something presented intelligently, that I find this documentary valuable beyond it's subject matter. Terry Pratchett is sharing his own process, and the processes of several other people as they cope with one of the most momentous life issues, ie how to die with dignity and some degree of consciousness. Must confess I'm a huge Pratchett fan and I hope he's able to write for ages.

Mandy Reiss
Mandy Reiss
11 years ago

RIP Terry, what a wonderful man.

Renevonn
Renevonn
11 years ago

Ultimately its your choice as an individual where, when and how you'd like to go. Whether or not you exercise that right is another matter but when all the accounts are tallied up, you are the only person who gets to decide. Other people's feelings will be hurt, but feelings get hurt all the time such as during a break up.

I'll never tell anyone they can't commit suicide if that's what they feel is the correct option. Its your life, you're free to do with it as you choose. I might not help you put an end to things but I won't condemn you for your choice either.

Life, like certain movies, isn't for everyone. No one forces you to sit through a bad movie and if you want to leave the theater before the credits roll go right ahead, you've got nothing to be scared of. In my view, all this is just an illusion anyway and we're all free to leave it whenever we want. Refusing someone's right to end their life is to take life all too seriously. At the same token, ending it early could also mean the same thing xD

spinbutton
spinbutton
12 years ago

I adore Terry Pratchett's books and it breaks my heart to know what he is facing. My grandmother died of Alzhiemers and now my father in law is facing it. It is the saddest thing to lose your memories of your family.

Elvis Tye
Elvis Tye
12 years ago

I 100% believed he died in peace. I went for operation for about 5 times in my life and felt nothing after I was put to sleep by anaesthesia.

In this case it's just an overdose of anaesthesia.

He was a very lucky man to die with this type of dignity. Dignitas is very great for giving him such privilege to die in such peace and condition.

It's a perfect ending of a life.

sistermaryannskeptic
sistermaryannskeptic
12 years ago

"I meant," said Ipslore bitterly, "what is there in this world that truly makes living worthwhile?"

Death thought about it.
"Cats," he said eventually. "Cats are nice."

Terry Pratchett, Sourcery

Christine81
Christine81
12 years ago

How do we know that the 'patient' is not suffering, that the poison hurts?In the US in order to kill prisoners who were sentenced to death, they gave them an injection . This death was supposed to be painless, but in the end it was discovered that the poison practically burns every organ inside the body and that the prisoner is in anguish..And the gentleman who passed away in the film didn't seem to be dying peace, when he asked for water. He seemed to be in anguish..

foamzy
foamzy
12 years ago

As a caregiver in a home for Alzheimer patients and somatic patients, a theology student, and a daughter of a man with severe brain damage. I have seen my share of misery. People waking up scared knowing there is something wrong with them knowing they are acting strange but not stopping it. People who are lonely who tell me in a sane calm way my dear young nurse I think god has forgotten about me and I think it has been my time to get out of this boot.
I know very well what the bible said about ending a life. But there is no glory in struggling to the end.
and often I consider it very selfish of the family to force a loved one to stay because they can’t bare to say goodbye.
I am a great fan of terry and a great fan of this documentary. For it shows that sometimes just sometimes we can take the easy way in the most elegant way. Instead of being humiliated by life it self.

Gideon Cordover
Gideon Cordover
12 years ago

Remarkable courage from all involved. I hope many people see this film.

Autonomy is a fundamentally important feature of any civilised society.

Whilst not everyone may need or want to utilise an assisted death it should be an individual's enshrined human right. I think there's no harm in allowing a terminally ill individual to choose when, where and in what manner they die.

I believe that wanting a peaceful death at home, surrounded by one's loved ones, is entirely reasonable, especially when faced with the alternative of a harrowing, prolonged death in a lonely hospital ward. I see no harm in legalising voluntary euthanasia for the terminally ill, provided safeguards are in place, such as those demonstrated by Dignitas in this film, ensuring that no sufferer has been coerced.

dixie.rose.filloy
dixie.rose.filloy
12 years ago

Wow.

dave.eggermont
dave.eggermont
12 years ago

When we meet someone who choses to die, we feel helpless, not only because of the awareness of the personal loss, but also by their judgment that some lives are not worth having and we fear that we one day might end up making that same evaluation. This is the only reason why I feel bad.
I am glad however that they could go on their own terms, and when I imagine how Hugo Claus went, you could tell from his wife that it was worth it.

dave.eggermont
dave.eggermont
12 years ago

We all know there is no right way to die, but let people at least have the right to die at their own terms. I'm all in favor for responsible and free deaths, feelings will get hurt anyway, why prolong it? In the end it might be the less selfish way to go.

Andreas Luneborg
Andreas Luneborg
12 years ago

Good one. I'm all for it, except if it was up to me, I would want a lethal opium dose. Pipe and my loved ones.

Here in Norway where healthcare is free and top notch. We often have the debate around just how long one shall have to be keep artificially alive during old age. It's always the religious wing that has the moral higher stance. Doctor willing to give active death help, is unable to do so because the ethic regime set by our Christian roots.

Just look to Japan.

ZarathustraSpeaks
ZarathustraSpeaks
12 years ago

Could someone explain to me how any person, group or government has any right or responsibility to tell any individual how or when their life should end? Please leave out your personal beliefs, I am talking about any real authority in this decision other than that of the individual. Is there any more personal question than when is life is not worth the "cost" of living?

shannon bitzer
shannon bitzer
12 years ago

Also though, I almost forgot to ask. How much does something like this cost?? I feel as though it may be pricy. Which actually would seem a bit unfair to me.

shannon bitzer
shannon bitzer
12 years ago

Hmm.. that actually made me a bit teary eyed, but also left an impression upon me that reminds me how much I love my family. To all that read this, hold your loved ones close

Ryan Bargiel
Ryan Bargiel
12 years ago

Great Insight! I give praise to the 2 escorts from Dignitas Clinic at the end. The countless eyes they must stare into and see the persons spirit diminish.
Truely brave.

@ wald0 :
How do your parents feel about you not leading a life of your own?
(my parents have always told me, not to let them burden my life , of course a generalisation.)

I know it means alot to you, for you to take care of them.
Down deep, is it like you feel you have to repay somewhat of a 'debt'. As they have raised you?
Respect for your parents is one thing. But sacrificng a life they gave you wasnt their intention. Life goes on, the world turns.

MkInTO
MkInTO
12 years ago

Thought-provoking. I've loved Terry's books for a long time, now the man himself makes me just stare in awe. Well presented, touching, thought-provoking. I don't know what choice I would make, either, but, like Terry, I definitely want the right to choose.

rezartsy .
rezartsy .
12 years ago

wow this was amazing. i think that its such a privilege to be able to know the time of death, that way all that needs to be said is spoken and the family and friends are at peace a little sooner. i can understand their situation and if a family memeber or friend wished this upon him/herself, id be as ok as i could ever be with their decision.

Ned Jibreen
Ned Jibreen
12 years ago

In my view this is part of a deformed culture. This will to share your utmost glory of suicide to the public is not only disturbing but shows levels ignorance and deafetism I did not think I'd witness in my lifetime.

It must be pointed out that there are people who aren't easily fooled by these subliminal messages Terry Pratchet is trying to induce. Everyone at some point in there lives wants to die even for a second; its mostly accompanied with states of depression; once they succeed in keeping you thinking about suicide more, then they've achieved what they wanted; call it the loss of hope mentality, the mentality that will end the human race or just shrink us a considerable size.

Whats strikes me in this documentary is the constant asking of the questions "Who owns our bodies?" then continuing scenes as if nothing happened. It does not take a genius to point out that this is all from the Atheism/Liberalist movement. Go ahead and shoot yourself, but put ideas in other peoples heads? What sick level have you come to? Do animals infatuate about committing suicide? Its kind of funny, some people are ready to let others take there lives away but if it had a direct consequence on theres they'd reject it directly. #GREED

anneveasey
anneveasey
12 years ago

I watched this when it was first broadcast by the BBC - good for them - and Sir Terry and the Smedleys - how brave of them as well! I've been waiting to see if it would be shown somewhere on the Internet. Thank you!!

Angelica Guerrero
Angelica Guerrero
12 years ago

Thank you for posting this! I've been wanting to watch it.

Brandon Schultz
Brandon Schultz
12 years ago

This doc is making me cry and I'm at the very beginning. The Right to Die is, in my opinion, one of the markers of a truly civilized society.

JohnMND
JohnMND
12 years ago

wow a lot of comments here from people all about their ideas and beliefs. I have recently been diagnosed with MND (in the USA it is commonly refered to as ALS). what this means is I will slowly lose the use of my body as the muscles stop working and basically die. I have nearly lost the use of my arms. I can lift a cup of tea using both for a short while, but it will get worse and soon I wont be able to use them at all, although there is no knowing when that will happen. My right leg is starting to give me problems and I will eventually end up in a wheel chair. I will eventually be able to do nothing at all, not even swallow. Food will be fed into my gut by a tube. Someone will have to take me to the toilet and wipe my arse! something I am not looking forward to at all, although I try to joke about this with my family; all of whom say they are here to help if I need it. My brain will function 100% so I will fully understand what is happening to me but I will probably lose any ability to communicate. Do I want to die? NO, at least not yet; the question is will I want to die sometime in the future before I get too bad?? possibly who knows. Imagine yourself in that position, would you want to live.
Now put into the equation, I am 50 years of age, I have a wife and a young son aged 9. Do I want to see my son grow up and get married and have kids of his own? Obviously YES. Will I? probably not. Do I want my wife to spend every living moment looking after me, NO. Do I want all the money and investments I have made for my sons future spent on me, NO. Otherwise all the time I spent away from them and all the chances I took to get this for my son was a waste of time. Do I think my son would rather I lived, YES. Do I think my son would want me to live as an object that cannot move, talk or communicate with him at all, probably not, why would he? I will basically be just a body in a chair that he walks by every day and talks to (if I am lucky) with no way of knowing what I would love to say back to him.

Now before some of you come back with the technology thing like Steven Hawkins has, that sort of thing costs a hell of a lot of money and even then it does not work for everyone as this disease affects each person differently. Some die within months of prognosis, some die many years later. I am lucky in some ways as it is progressing relatively slowly at the moment; however, this could also change.
There is no right/clear answer to this debate. The things that everyone talks about are abovious; depression affects the decision as does family commitments. there are aslo questions regarding the government/medical/moral commitment for dealing with these problems. medical intervention costs a lot of money. Governements do not have a limitless pit. moral questions rise regarding the issue of suicide and also the requirement to look after the ill and helpless of society. These sort of things are noted in newspapers every day.
The argument is not for a governement centralised euthanasia, rather the argument is for the individual to choose. there will be safe guards, such as doctors/psychiatrists checking that the individual has chosen and not been bullied into this position. Will this be abused? of course it will, by some. There is always someone out there who will try to encourage their parents to go early so they get the inheritance! But the same can be said for every law today.
As for giving up or not being able to stand the pain as someone said.. I wont be in pain, I will just be lying, sitting, or whatever position I have been placed in. Similar to locked in syndrome. I will have a fully functioning brain but will be able to do absoloutely nothing!!!! try to imagine that for months on end, perhaps years.... would you want to live? of course at that stage I won't be able to tell anyone what I want!!! I will feel pain, I will feel, hear and see everything.
Will my wife and son suffer more watching me and spending their whole life looking after me than they would if I just died and they could try to get on with their lives...probably, at least that is what I think. It is not like I will be a good father or husband any more, I will just be the guy in the room on a chair that never talks or reacts to either of them...

So as I said, there are no easy asnwers, no right way to deal with this, except perhaps let the indiviual that it is happening to make some decisions. I am sure if they have any family, they will be a priority when he is waying up his thoughts.

AOD
AOD
12 years ago

I can't watch this. I respect the decision of terminally ill persons to end their life on their terms, not in pain and fear and no control of their own body... but at the same time, I remember how reading Unseen Academicals was one of the few things that made me feel anything positive when I was hospitalized in the wake of my own suicide attempt. So when it comes to Pratchett... I just can't.

leonardobdas
leonardobdas
12 years ago

I can't help myself but to think Pratchet's desire to plan his death to be foolish. "oh I will likely not be able to write anymore, therefore I need to die'. Quite a way to make his wife and family suffer prematurely with a death obsession. I am fairly certain she would instinctively take care of him and I don't think that is enough of a motive. I know it is judgmental of me to say this by the way.

I think this works great for wealthy intelectual areligious citizens residing in rich countries, and it is best if kept there....marginal and nested in the Swiss alps. Really, what a logical step for the Swiss and their perfect lives...

But, there is no way to know its unintended consequences if this goes mainstream (and we know it won't as long as the church is involved in large countries with large grey collar populations). I know someone who has an aneurysm and is confined to a wheel chair with limited mobility and speech. I am pretty sure that if it wasn't for family care and antidepressants, she would take the option to kill herself if available. Imagine in countries with ultra independent individuals, abandoning the diseaded and even plotting ways to kill them faster, even if it was just some persuasive arguments.

Another of my worries here is that by virtue of its availability, people would simply give up fighting naturally faster because they see that option at the end of the tunnel as a viable one.

Another potential unintended consequence is that it could slows down development of technology since people would be, by killing themselves while carrying important information, reducing the pool of available scientic material if you know what I mean.

TestTickle
TestTickle
12 years ago

i'm glad to know that places such as this exist to give people an option to end their pain. they can choose to end their lives with dignity, with their loved ones, and without prolonged suffering on everyone's part. making people ashamed of their choice and forcing them to endure a protracted death seems cruel and inhumane to me.

AlfBeta
AlfBeta
12 years ago

The potential involvement of governments - with their habit of outsourcing to Blackwater etc etc, and the solid white supremacy ethic in robust health in the back room in, at least u.s. and australian* contexts is a real worry.
(the only place to pass legal euthanasia in australia -later struck out by FedGov- happened to be Northern Territory, which has the highest percentage of indigenous people, many of whom use expensive dialysis, and more who need it.)
In short, legal bureaucratically centralised euthanasia processing system makes me nervous! And the current zeitgeist of power knows no other way of doing anything, I think.
*For example, indigenous people in N.T. still experience court appearances and convictions conducted in a foreign language, with no translator provided.

Matt Kukowski
Matt Kukowski
12 years ago

I know non of these old people, but cry I did.

annggy
annggy
12 years ago

My mother was strugling with cancer for 10 years. I was barelly 15, but quite a mature one, when she firts asked me, if I would help her to die when the time comes. The first time I had no answer. Couple of years later she asked again and I said yes. We even discussed going to Switzerland during her last year. But she never lost hope, so no serious stepes were made. During her last week in hospital, when she would here and there wake up, she would talk about the things she want's to do when she gets home. And yes, she was suffering beyond words. Watching this and remembering the way it was at the end, I wish she would have asked for help, cause no living being on this earth deserves to go through pain like that. I wish that every mans death could be as peaceful.

Adam Charteris
Adam Charteris
12 years ago

Everyone is entitled to their beliefs. However this does not mean that anyone or any society should force their morality upon another individual. Above all else, the most prized possession of any individual is his or her own life. Thus the jurisdiction over a life remains with the person it belongs to. While I personally cannot say I would end my own life, I find it absolutely appalling that anybody would advocate making this decision for someone else. How can you relegate another human being to months of agony and misery when you cannot experience any of it yourself? What puts you or society in a position to decide for them when you do not have to endure any of their suffering? The answer is nothing. Nobody has any rationally valid argument to propose dominion and control over another persons body. To suggest so is to wander into the realm of personal beliefs which are at times not based in sound logic.

This is not just concerning those dying or severely handicapped, even those who are just tired of living should be allowed to end their life peacefully if judged to be of sound mind and given numerous opportunities to change their mind before finally ending it.

Masoud Barekzi
Masoud Barekzi
12 years ago

why did they banned me from commenting in this site ??????????
01bad2dbone

Masoud Barekzi
Masoud Barekzi
12 years ago

When you have a good health that's you're money power and everything for you
without good health all the money and power is worthless.

these people who wanna die because they have a bad illness they're very selfish, very weak in heart and weak in spirit we humans we don't have to enjoy every moment of life we all should die in natural way. When a man is alive he should try to live to its last breath whether in pain or happiness.

If you're finger hurts or you're finger is in a bad pain do you just go and cut you're hand off ?

If you're body and you're brain is in pain do you take you're life away ?

We should apparetaite life like we just born.

AlfBeta
AlfBeta
12 years ago

My own view, about myself, not anyone else, is that I am almost completely opposed to deliberately killing a person, and I don't exclude myself. But I haven't arrived at a situation extreme enough to test that view!

Thomas S. Williams
Thomas S. Williams
12 years ago

I agree with Terry that a person shouldn't need to be wealthy to be able to chose a decent end to their life, terminal illness of not. One alternate way to quietly end one's suffering that I have not seen discussed is "voluntary refusal of food and fluids" which just takes determination.

princesspatricia
princesspatricia
12 years ago

Cold, calculated and extremely dark. Choosing to DIE is a very "Fitting" title for this horrific display.

marcosanthonytoledo
marcosanthonytoledo
12 years ago

My father had Alzheimer's when he died of a heart attack in 2004 he was 83 years old my mother five years later when she was 86 when she died she had Dementia. So there is a possibility I can become affected either soon since I am in my early 60s a powerful documentary.

Earthwinger
Earthwinger
12 years ago

I found this both very difficult to watch, and utterly compelling at the same time. As a child, I watched my grandmother endure a long and painful death, and to this day, I still weep for her when I think back to it. It's my view that no one who is able to make an informed decision, should have to suffer a painful or protracted death in this day and age.

@ Lexy - It was only a few days ago that you apologised for your xenophobic slurs elsewhere on this site, so I think it's a shame that you feel compelled to do it again. You don't like the English, you've already made that abundantly clear, but unwarranted venting of your spleen, on the matter, is never going to be conducive to healthy or constructive debate.

John_St_John
John_St_John
12 years ago

Last time I saw my Grandmother Markel alive she had forgotten that she had been married to my grandfather for 67 years or that she even had had two daughters. Only reason she even recognized me for a lucid moment was a comment about Howdy Doody's side kick Stoney Burke. As I left her that day she begged me to never go back, she knew then that she was dieing mentally and that "she" would soon be gone. I honored that wish but damn if it still does not hurt as bad today as it did then.

Grandmother Markel died physically in 1998 after Alzheimer's stripped her of her mind in 1992. Where is the compassion in keeping a corpse alive? Not trying to offend here but damn, if you want to see real zombies go to an Alzheimer care ward. Flesh automatons wandering, or not, aimlessly; waiting for their next meal.

BetsMcGee
BetsMcGee
12 years ago

my mother died from cancer, within a year it had spread to her spine, lungs, kidneys and liver. the pain got so severe that the last 4 months of her life were little more then a drug induced coma, visiting her became more to console my father who spent every second he could at her bedside, i had lost all hope to catch her when she was awake by this point, I wonder what humanity there is that kind of needless suffering, it's humbling that in the brief periods that she was awake in those final months that she still had the spirit to laugh and make jokes even when it was apparent that all hope was lost. my mother was beautiful woman who i loved dearly and she did not deserve to have her life end torture and torment simply because a warped sense of moral righteousness that says a few brief moments of suffering plaid through a drug addled coma is more fitting an end then having A CHOICE .....