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Liz Carr to front new BBC One documentary on assisted dying

The hour-long film will see Liz speak to people on all sides of the debate.

Today at the Edinburgh Television Festival, it was announced that actor and disability rights activist Liz Carr will front a new documentary, currently titled Better Off Dead?

Liz is a long-term campaigner against a change in the law and observes that disabled people are rarely consulted about the issue.

Whether we call it assisted dying, assisted suicide or euthanasia, the practice of a medical professional assisting a person to end their life, has long provoked debate. A recent poll found that 73% of Britons support doctor-assisted suicide for the terminally ill but Liz and many other disabled people fear their lives will be put at risk if it is legalised.

This year, a House of Commons Select Committee has for the first time launched an enquiry into the legalisation of assisted suicide, with its findings set to influence future government policy.

Concerned that any change in the law sends the message that the lives of disabled and marginalised people are less valuable, Liz will take an in-depth look at the issue, speaking to people from all sides of the debate.

She will also travel to Canada to explore the repercussions of some of the most permissive euthanasia laws in the world. Here she will be confronted with a law for people who are disabled, and not just the terminally ill.

Speaking ahead of the documentary, Liz Carr said "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'. 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."

"I'm pro-choice, an atheist, a rights campaigner and assisted suicide scares me. I want everyone to have a good death and through this documentary, i hope to show why I'm unconvinced that any type of 'assisted dying' is the answer to this."

To which BBC's Director of Unscripted, Kate Phillips added "Factual at the BBC is in great shape, with recent series such as Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland and Parole as well as singles such as Rose Ayling Ellis’s film on the deaf community or Matt Willis on addiction winning widespread acclaim."

"We want to continue bringing audiences impactful new films that inspire debate and bring fresh new perspectives on important issues and I’m really pleased that Liz Carr is presenting this new film, sharing her own unique insight into the difficult debate around assisted suicide."

The hour-long documentary will be produced by Burning Bright Productions and Georgie Nicholson, produced and directed by James Routh and executive-produced by Nina Davies, Clive Tulloh and Consultant Producer Liz Carr.

Better Off Dead? will air on BBC One


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