Father Takes His Own Life With A FLICK Of A Switch-While Others Stood-By JUST To Get It On FILM!
Assisted suicide is a hotly-debated topic. Should someone have the right to kill themselves? The issue if fraught with emotion and it’s understandably a touchy subject. One BBC documentary, however, has detailed this controversial subject in deep detail and is receiving both praise and condemnation.
Viewers today described being left in floods of tears as they watched a controversial BBC film documenting the death of a British father at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic.
More than 1.2million watched as businessman Simon Binner played a poignant last message to his wife Debbie from his deathbed before turning on the drip that killed him.
Many watching were left distraught as the motor neurone disease sufferer administered the life-ending drugs with a smile on his face.
Broadcaster Clare Balding tweeted she was ‘sitting here sobbing’ watching Mr Binner’s final moments while ITV presenter Fiona Phillips said his case proved assisted suicide can be ‘valid’.
Radio 2 and Strictly Come Dancing star Jeremy Vine said it was ‘devastating’ to watch his death and Gabby Logan said she was ’emotionally shattered’ by the film.
The BBC had planned to show footage featuring Simon’s lifeless body at the assisted suicide clinic in Basel, Switzerland, but was forced to make last minute changes to the harrowing documentary
Despite the controversy about the documentary the BBC has received fewer than 10 complaints and broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has not received any.
The film shows Simon gripping his wife’s hand tightly with a smile across his face as he took his own life.
The scenes were described by viewers as ‘the saddest they had ever seen’, but even more controversial footage showing his life ebb away was cut at the last minute after the BBC came under pressure from the Samaritans.
The BBC had planned to show footage featuring Simon’s lifeless body at the assisted suicide clinic in Basel, Switzerland, but was forced to make last minute changes to the harrowing documentary.
After bowing to pressure from the charity, the Corporation decided to edit out footage of his corpse, as well as scenes detailing the drugs he used to kill himself on October 19 last year.
As the documentary – How to Die: Simon’s Choice – was aired on BBC Two last night, viewers took to social media to describe the show as deeply distressing and ‘difficult but important’ viewing.
Many praised Simon’s bravery and the strength of his wife who supported him until his dying day.
Julia Strong wrote: ‘Cried all the way through this but what an inspiring man Simon was, living life to the full and knowing what was right for him.’
Joe Trigg said: ‘Just saw @BBCTwo’s #SimonsChoice. Not been so upset over a TV show in years. I am in awe at the bravery of Simon, his family and his friends.’
TV presenter Michael Underwood wrote: ‘Simon’s wife is so strong it’s breaking my heart. When he’s gone, she’ll be left to live. So so sad. Incredible documentary. #simonschoice’
Adam Callinan said: ‘The most emotional thing I’ve ever watched. Fantastic documentary.’
Richard Hellyar wrote: ‘Extremely gut wrenching, thought provoking programme on assisted dying. Such articulate and ultimately strong people #simonschoice’
Sally Shearing said: ‘Possibly the saddest thing I have ever watched, in floods of tears, both Simon and especially his wife were so very brave #simonschoice’
And another user added: ‘I just watched possibly the saddest programme I’ve ever seen. I urge everyone to watch it, so hard to watch but so important #simonschoice.’
The heart-wrenching documentary followed Simon Binner’s journey from his diagnosis of motor neurone disease last summer to his death just a few months later on October 19.
The cameras followed him around as he enjoyed a final few months with friends and family, and also gave an insight into the deeply distressing life of a terminally ill patient deciding to take their life.
After following his journey right up until the point of him arriving at the suicide clinic, the footage showed Simon enjoying a final farewell meal with his family and friends on the eve of his death. They toasted him and told him he was a ‘top bloke’.
It then showed him taking his own life on Monday, October 19, at 9.38am while surrounded by his wife and four friends. His daughters, Hannah and Zoe, were not present at the time of his death.
In deeply traumatic scenes, he could be seen – dressed in a smart chequered shirt – lying on a bed at the suicide clinic, holding his wife’s hand, as a pre-recorded message played out around the room.
In it, he told his wife: ‘Hi Debbie, it’s Simon here, I’ve loved you very, very much Debbie. I haven’t deserved you or Hannah or Zoe. Such loving and caring young ladies, and I’ve been such a grumpy gruffalo for much of the time.
‘But I really love you Debbie. We’ve had such a fun and laughter-filled marriage, we were really blessed to have found one another.
‘The one blessing of a slow decline is that we’ve had time to speak about things over 10 long months, not like losing me in a car smash.
‘We’ve really said everything that needs to be said. You’ve been a truly fantastic wife to me Debbie and I know that you loved me and I’ve loved you.
‘Anyway, time and tide wait for no man, I love you very much Debbie. Goodbye.’
As the message came to a close, he could be seen administering the life-ending drugs in highly upsetting footage – which MailOnline has decided not to repeat.
The film then cut to a black screen before a coffin was wheeled into the room. His wife could be seen embracing friends as they left the assisted suicide clinic.
The heart-wrenching scenes were cut short just before the controversial programme went to air after the BBC came under pressure from the Samaritans.
The charity raised concerns that the Corporation may fall foul of guidelines that prevent broadcasters from giving detailed guidance about suicide methods.
Among the footage to be deleted from an earlier preview of the documentary, which was broadcast to journalists, was Simon’s lifeless body following his death and a description by staff at the Eternal Spirit clinic of how the anaesthetic used to end his life affects the human body.
The documentary, which has come under fire from charities who branded it ‘deeply disturbing’, was supported by Simon’s wife, who praised the film and said she hopes it sparks a ‘grown-up debate’.
In truth, this is one of those subject where there seems to be no “right” answer. There are no winners in this debate, only degrees of loss.
What do you think?