Categories
Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Entertainment

Assisted Suicide – The Musical

Disabled activist, actor and comedian Liz Carr has chosen the spectacular world of musical theatre as the backdrop to exploring the complex and controversial subject of assisted suicide in her new show Assisted Suicide: The Musical.

On September 11th 2015, MPs voted overwhelmingly against legalising assisted suicide. Opinion polls would have you believe that the majority of the UK population believe it’s a humane choice to legalise assisted suicide for terminally ill or disabled people but Liz and many other disabled people disagree.

Confronting the lack of creative work exploring this most topical taboo, she is joined by director Mark Whitelaw (Duckie, Ursula Martinez, New Art Club), composer Ian Hill (Duckie) and a cast of performers to express an important but often unheard perspective.

Here are further details of dates, times and venues

Assisted Suicide: The Musical Written by Liz Carr Director Mark Whitelaw, Composer Ian Hill,

July Previews

Ahead of the premiere at Unlimited Festival at the Royal Festival Hall on September 10th and 11th, (http://unlimited.southbankcentre.co.uk/events/assisted-suicide-the-musical) we warmly invite you to the preview of Assisted Suicide: The Musical by Liz Carr.

 

Chats Palace, London, Friday 22 and Saturday 23 July , 7.45pm. £12/8 (concession)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/assisted-suicide-the-musical-preview-tickets-26581199082

Colchester Arts Centre,  Wednesday 27 July, 8pm. Pay What You Can Afford.

http://www.colchesterartscentre.com/events/performance/assisted-suicide-the-musical/?spektrix_bounce=true

Categories
Assisted dying assisted suicide

BMA votes against supporting assisted suicide

You may already be aware that at their meeting on the 21st of June 2017 the BMA voted by 198 to 115 to continue their opposition to assisted suicide. While this provides some comfort to us, we must not lose sight of the fact that those who want to change the law continue to use every device available to them to resurrect the debate. Baroness Meacher recently reminded the House of Lords that problems associated with assisted suicide as set out by Supreme Court *are still not fixed” and there is yet another call for a Royal Commission.

In a recent article in the Guardian Newspaper http://bit.ly/29xHVaf  the Kings Fund suggests that we should look at the evidence coming out of Oregon and the Netherlands which indicate that there has been a major increase in the numbers of people using assisted suicide. Linking this to the BMA’s recent decision, the article points out that in Oregon, “There is “doctor shopping”, whereby people whose doctors won’t participate in assisted dying (and two out of three won’t) seek lethal drugs from other doctors who are willing but have never met them before and know nothing about them beyond case notes. One such doctor issued no less than 27 prescriptions for lethal drugs in 2015 alone”.

The article also makes the point that is better to learn from other people’s mistakes than from your own. Very good advice!

Categories
Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Disability portrayal

The debate continues

So after the initial brew ha that followed the premiere of  the film Me Before You the battle to protect the rights of vulnerable disabled people goes on. Those who campaigned so vocally at the premiere deserve our thanks and it seems their efforts attracted  a great deal of mainstream and social media attention. Catherine Garrod, a NDYUK supporter, posted  a Twitter update showing that our protest attracted 2,300 retweets, 1,900 likes, 236 replies 404,200 impressions, 11,800 visits to our profile page (up by over 1000%!) 837 mentions in the past 2 weeks. Our top tweet received 178 retweets and 20,000 impressions.  So the word is getting out there!

Alison Wilde a Senior Lecturer at Leeds Beckett University, whose research is centred around on screen representations of impairment and disability, with a focus often placed on gender and audience interpretations has posted an interesting and informative piece about the film.  Alison Wild Blog

Alongside all of this the recent decision to allow assisted suicide in California reminds us all that the fight must continue. Kathleen Palmer, an opinion writer for the Washington Post, in her piece “Freedom to kill, permission to die” writes “Perhaps I read too many dystopian science-fiction novels during my formative years, but there’s something disturbing about asking doctors to help their patients die.” you can read the complete article at Freedom to Kill Permission to die

Categories
Assisted dying assisted suicide Disability Disability portrayal

“Me Before You” Film panned by Not Dead Yet UK

The latest blockbuster to come out of Hollywood called ‘Me Before You’ is seen as a gross misrepresentation of the lived experience of most disabled people. The film is based on the best-selling novel of the same name.  A young man becomes disabled, he falls in love with his ‘carer’ and they have a fantastic year together but despite her protests, he decides to end his life at Dignitas so she can move on and he is no longer a burden to her.

A critique of the book by Crippled Scholar can be found at http://bit.ly/25bbRf6

Not Dead Yet UK is deeply concerned to see yet another film which casts non-disabled people as disabled people and shows the lives of disabled people as not worth living.

The film premiered at the Curzon in Mayfair at 7pm on the 25th May.

Further coverage of the protest and concerns around the film:

This film did not raise the issue of medication intake and cost of medication.

Categories
Assisted dying assisted suicide

A Collection of Updates

In the past few days, there has been a flurry of posts on Twitter and Facebook alleging that Not Dead Yet UK are in league with faith groups or their organisations. This old chestnut, like so many others, is factually incorrect.  We have certainly worked alongside other campaigners some of which are faith groups when lobbying against a change in the law on assisted suicide. We have always made it clear that our relationship with these other groups does not mean that we support their values or agree with their position on a range of other issues. Some supporters of Dignity in Dying are accusing us of supporting anti-gay propaganda. This is entirely untrue and absurd in the extreme.  

These are worrying times for disabled Canadians and those with life-threatening conditions. The Canadian government is discussing enacting legislation which will allow assisted suicide. We’ve posted a couple of links to keep you updated on the situation

Canadian government introduces bill to legalize assisted suicide, euthanasia

Bill C-14

There is some good news! An attempt  to allow assisted suicide in Maryland in the USA has failed after a concerted campaign against it.  Campaigning clearly does help. Senator withdraws Assisted Suicide Bill

 picture of Liz Carr on stage in a golden wheelchair rehearsing
Liz Carr on stage in her golden carriage!

As many of you will know our very own Liz Carr is in rehearsals for her exciting new show Assisted Suicide: The Musical.

This is a must see and you can book tickets by visiting Assisted Suicide:The Musical

Categories
Assisted dying assisted suicide Blog Care Not Killing Disability Disability portrayal

Disability, Assisted Suicide and the Film Industry

On 10th February, the BBC aired a disturbing documentary entitled “How to Die: Simon’s Choice”. The documentary followed Simon Binner a 57-year-old with motor neurone disease in the months before his assisted suicide at a Swiss suicide clinic last October.

The disturbing documentary has rightly been criticised by Care Not Killing, who said that it “risks skewing what people think about assisted suicide and sidelines alternatives, such as hospice and palliative care. It gives the impression that if you’re disabled or terminally ill your life is somehow worthless and you should kill yourself. Suicide is the biggest killer of young men in this country and the more it is normalised, the more people will think of it as a way out”.

This programme was yet another example of disability portrayal which promotes the idea that death is preferable to being disabled. There is nothing new in this; the film industry has been trotting out this message for years, who can forget Born on the 4th of July with Tom Cruise!

Dominick Evans a wheelchair user, who describes himself, as an “activist, filmmaker and speaker” has recently published an interesting article which discusses disability portrayal and assisted dying.

Picture of Dominick Evans
Dominick Evans

Dominick a New Yorker says, “I believe that if Hollywood showed more disabled actors, particularly wheelchair users, who we never see, and the stories were more reflective of the disabled experience, then people would believe disabled lives were worth living. There is a huge difference between a debilitating illness, such as brain cancer, in the end stages, and a person with a disability who is not dying. You can find success, love, fulfillment even if you happen to use a wheelchair. It is not the end of the world, and these films need to stop scaring people into thinking it is. We cannot change the narrative about disability when these kinds of films continued to be made”.

You can read the full article “Hollywood promotes the idea it is better to be dead than disabled”  by clicking here Dominick’s artcle