Moving Pictures
Dec 11, 2008, 05:11AM

The Right to Die Publicly

The author is the wife of a man who made a film of his own death.

A hard argument:

Craig had his first random symptom of motor neurone disease at Christmas 2005. In the spring, he deteriorated very quickly. He lost the use of his arms and, during the summer, he was on a ventilator 24 hours a day, then he was starting to lose rapidly the use of his legs. He wanted to remove a veil so that people could see how comfortably someone could die who – without this option of assisted suicide – maybe would have had a very painful death. Craig had been a teacher, and you could say he made this film with his educative hat on. Both of us had been interested in why society and laws regulate very specific decisions that we make. He had resisted the Vietnam War. If he had had to leave the US to avoid the draft, he would have – but he was lucky, it didn't come to that. And I have had an ongoing interest in the regulation of the body, and how the law regulates the body, so this was something that we were interested in before Craig's illness.



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