Disability rights activist and actress Liz Carr inspects the changing laws on assisted dying, and their impact on terminally ill and disabled people, in a feature length documentary.
In a recent poll, 73% of Britons showed support for doctor-assisted euthanasia for the terminally ill. This comes alongside the ever-growing debate surrounding assisted suicide.
Carr (Silent Witness, Good Omens) has long campaigned against a change in the law, worrying that disabled people are scarcely consulted about the issue. Carr, who wrote and presented the documentary, said: “Too many disabled people will have had the experience of someone, often a complete stranger, telling them, ‘If I was like you, I’d rather be dead'.
“Putting such low value on our lives has been reported in medical settings when disabled and older people have 'do not resuscitate' orders placed on their medical notes without their consent. This documentary is about challenging the assumptions behind these actions and shining a light on the many grey areas in this often one-sided debate."
Taking an in-depth look at all areas of the debate, Liz will speak to people with divided views, travelling to Canada where they allow assisted suicide for people who are disabled and not just the terminally ill.
Carr added: "I'm pro-choice, an atheist, a rights campaigner and assisted suicide scares me. I want everyone to have a good death and through this documentary, I hope to show why I'm unconvinced that any type of 'assisted dying' is the answer to this."
BBC’s Director of Unscripted Kate Phillips announced the documentary Better off Dead? (working title) at the Edinburgh TV Festival.
Phillips said: “Factual at the BBC is in great shape, with recent series such as Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland and Parole as well as singles such as Rose Ayling Ellis’s film on the deaf community or Matt Willis on addiction winning widespread acclaim.
“We want to continue bringing audiences impactful new films that inspire debate and bring fresh new perspectives on important issues and I’m really pleased that Liz Carr is presenting this new film, sharing her own unique insight into the difficult debate around assisted suicide."