Monday 13 June 2011

ACT NOW: Please complain to the BBC about tonight's assisted suicide propaganda documentary

Tonight (13 June) at 9pm BST, BBC Two will show "Choosing to die", a documentary by Sir Terry Pratchett (pictured), the famous author, in which Sir Terry promotes the legalisation of assisted suicide. The documentary will show the moment of death of a British man in the Dignitas assisted suicide centre in Switzerland. (Following the documentary, BBC Two's Newsnight programme at 10pm will feature both an interview with Sir Terry and a studio debate.)

Please complain to the BBC about the showing of this documentary, by visiting and filling out the online form at

You can also telephone BBC Audience Services on 03700 100 222 or write to BBC Complaints, PO Box 1922, Darlington, DL3 0UR.

Here are some points you could make in your complaint:

Geoff Morris, a disabled man severely affected by multiple sclerosis, has expressed a series of scathing criticisms of the documentary, after watching an advance screening. His observations give grave cause for concern that the documentary:
  1. presents a fictionalised picture of the Swiss suicide system;
  2. is strongly biased in favour of this highly controversial suicide process;
  3. fails to address any objections or alternatives to assisted suicide.
Mr Morris' comments included the following comments about the documentary (see ):
  • "shameless propaganda"
  • "grossly misleading and unbalanced"
  • "Sir Terry and the producers have presented this type of suicide as an enriching, even uplifting choice"
  • "a repellent exercise in deceit"
  • "untrue and distorted"
  • "fails to acknowledge any of the serious concerns about assisted suicide"
  • "riddled with myth-making".
If Mr Morris' comments are valid, the BBC is violating its public service duty to impartiality yet again, by broadcasting items favourable to the assisted suicide cause :
  1. "I'll Die When I Choose", 8 December 2008
  2. "A Short Stay in Switzerland", January 2009
  3. "Shaking hands with death", 1 February 2010, also featuring Sir Terry Pratchett
  4. "Inside Out", BBC West Midlands, 15 February 2010.
By broadcasting a person's suicide, and providing a platform for the promotion of assisted suicide. the BBC is undermining suicide prevention campaigns, including BBC and World Health Organisation (WHO) guidance on media coverage regarding suicide

Please forward any replies you receive to SPUC's communications department at or by post to SPUC HQ.

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