Sunday 25 September 2016

BBC's film on right-to-die man 'not pro-euthanasia'

Published 02/02/2016 | 00:11

The BBC will screen its documentary on Simon Binner this month
The BBC will screen its documentary on Simon Binner this month

The makers of a documentary chronicling the life of Simon Binner, who announced the date of his death on LinkedIn, insist the film is not pro-euthanasia.

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Businessman Binner, 57, was diagnosed with aggressive motor neurone disease (MND) in January 2015 and made headlines when he updated his professional profile on LinkedIn with the details of his death.

He wrote: "I died in Switzerland with Eternal Spirit on Mon 19 Oct 2015 and my funeral was on Fri 13 Nov 2015."

Now the makers of a new BBC documentary, How to Die: Simon's Choice, have said that the film was not dependent on Binner choosing assisted dying.

Film-makers Rowan Deacon and Colin Barr told Radio Times: "Had he allowed his illness to take its natural course, we would have continued to film up to and after his death, however long it took, and that film would have been broadcast."

Barr, who was also behind the acclaimed BBC Three series Our War, said they were "constantly gauging the impartiality and balance, engaging with the complexities - so it is not a campaigning film, neither pro nor anti".

Binner chose to end his life at a clinic in Basel, Switzerland, in October 2015. While the documentary features the moments leading up to his last days, it does not show his death.

:: How to Die: Simon's Choice airs on BBC Two on February 10 at 9pm.

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