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Terry Pratchett volunteers as assisted suicide test case

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 01 February 2010

Best selling author Sir Terry Pratchett calls for assisted suicide to be made legal saying we should all "have a death worth dying for". The writer, who has Alzheimer's disease, is offering himself up as a test case.

Terry Pratchett calls for assisted suicide to be made legal (Getty)

Following the two high profile cases of Kate Gilderdale and Frances Inglis there have been renewed calls for the legalisation of assisted suicide.

Two recent polls also indicate that most people support the case for changing the law.

The writer will speak tonight at the Richard Dimbleby Lecture and will say that we "should aim for a good and rich life, well-lived, and at the end of it, in the comfort of our home, in the company of those who love us, have a death worth dying for."

He will also say:

"If I knew that I could die at any time I wanted, then suddenly every day would be as precious as a million pounds. If I knew that I could die, I would live. My life, my death, my choice."

The Daily Telegraph, who commissioned a YouGov poll, found that three out of four people asked wanted the law changed to make assisted suicide legal.

Last week mother Kay Gilderdale (real name Bridget) was cleared of murder after admitting she aided the suicide of her seriously ill daughter Lynn, who suffered from ME and was paralysed from the waist down.

After hearing the judge took the unusual step of praising the jury's decision and he asked the prosecution why it had been considered in the public interest to pursue an attempted murder case.

Jon Snow spoke to Simon Clements, head of the CPS Special Crimes Division about the decision to take her to court last week. .

Simon Clements said: "We were satisfied that the charge that we proceeded with, which the jury eventually found Mrs Gilderdale not guilty for, was sustainable evidentially and it was in the public interest to prosecute it because it was such a serious allegation."




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