BBC documentary to expose dangers of assisted suicide for the disabled

By SPUC—the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children

Liz Carr, a noted disability rights campaigner, is to write and present a BBC documentary on the dangers of assisted suicide.

Lizz Car, 51, is a broadcaster, comedian and actress who is also a wheelchair user. She has opposed the legalisation of assisted suicide in the UK, stating previously that: “I fear we’ve so devalued certain groups of people – ill people, disabled people, older people – that I don’t think it’s in their best interests to enshrine in law the right of doctors to kill certain people.”

Car will now write and present a documentary, provisionally titled “Better Off Dead?”, which will challenge the pro-assisted suicide narrative. The program will also look at the example of Canada, where over 40,000 people have been killed by assisted suicide since 2016.

“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’”, Car stated. “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.”

The documentary will be broadcast on BBC One and iPlayer.

The public must be informed

SPUC’s Michael Robinson, Executive Director (Public Affairs and Legal Services), said: “The threat to the disabled, as well as other vulnerable groups, from assisted suicide is profound, most of all because it is founded on the dangerous idea that some lives are not worth living or even worthy of life.

“As Liz Carr has also noted, persons with learning disabilities were even served “Do not resuscitate” notices during the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported by SPUC in 2021.

“We hope that Carr will give a voice to such individuals who increasingly feel ostracized and even pressured to die by a society that prioritizes convenience and cost over life.

“If assisted suicide is legalized, a terrible precedent will be set, putting in place a slippery slope that, as we have seen in Canada, will lead to thousands of needless deaths. The public must be informed about the shocking reality and dangers of assisted suicide.

“The only true safeguard is not to legalize it in the first place.”

Increasing alarm in Canada as deaths rise

In 2020, Roger Foley, 45, warned Canadian MPs that Canada’s Medical Assistance in Dying Law (MAiD) would lead to disabled persons such as himself being coerced into assisted suicide, especially because of the cost of healthcare.

Last year, SPUC reported on the case of a disabled Canadian woman, 31, who was conditionally granted assisted suicide after she could not find suitable clean housing. Suffering from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS), the wheelchair user said that “abject poverty” had forced her to opt for assisted suicide.

memo was recently passed around doctors in the Canadian province of Quebec requesting that they respect the limits of the law after a shocking 54% rise in assisted suicides in Quebec between 2021 and 2022, during which time there were potentially 15 wrongful deaths.