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Choosing to Die

Terry Pratchett, Peter Smedley, Christine Smedley, Veerla Claus-De Wit, Mick Gordelier, Andrew Colgan, Rob Wilkins, Ludwig Minelli, Erika Preisig, Yvonne Colgan
snuff | morphine | Terry Pratchett
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Blog entry

Writer Terry: "I am 62, and I was diagnosed with Alzheimer's 3 years ago. Sometimes, particularly when I'm depressed..." (0:00)

Terry: "Life with Alzheimer's is... full of small... inconveniences. I will forget your name... something wrong with my short-term memory..."
"It's called snuff." (0:01)

Terry: "It's a delicate subject, but my Alzheimer's means that I'd at least like to explore the option." (0:03)

Terry: "If you do help somebody to commit suicide, you may be prosecuted." He refers to writer Hugo Claus: "He had Alzheimer's." (0:11)

Hugo's widow Veerla, referring to her husband: "He said to me, 'If I have Alzheimer's I will... put an end to my self.'" (0:13)

Veerla tells Terry, "It was terrible because I miss him." (0:14)

Taxi driver Mick, afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, tells Terry, "I'm a believer in assisted suicide." (0:17)

Terry tells nurse Tracy, "... I think I know more about Alzheimer's... than my wife." (0:19)

Terry: "In Britain if you wish to die without being in anyone else's care then the only option is the good old fashioned do-it-yourself suicide. As a journalist I came across suicide over and over again..." (0:19)

Terry tells Andrew, "You have tried to kill yourself, yes."
Andrew, afflicted with multiple sclerosis: "Once was I took three months worth of morphine tablets." (0:21)

Terry: "The doctor had to make certain that Peter was of sound mind and that he understood the process of drinking the poison that would kill him."
Physician Erika asks Peter, "Have you ever felt depressed during the time of your illness?"
Peter: "No, I'm not a depressed sort of person... I wouldn't call it depression." (0:32)

Andrew tells Terry it would be difficult to ask loved ones, "Would you mind helping me kill myself?" (0:37)

Terry: "My Alzheimer's complicates matters." He tells Erika, "Alzheimer's is not painful..."
"The big problem with Alzheimer's is..."
Erika, "But with Alzheimer's you can have... moments..."
Terry: "The problem with Alzheimer's is that by the time that you are actually ready to ask for an assisted death you may not be able to speak, and so the Alzheimer's patient would have to choose to die earlier than might really be necessary." (0:43)

Dignitas escort Erika asks Peter, "So I'll go and prepare the drugs?" (0:49)

Peter, afflicted with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, begins to die. His wife Christine cries. (0:54)