Adding to the Assisted Dying Debate on National Media


It’s not often a writer is invited onto the UK’s TV screens to discuss a parliamentary debate, but that’s the position I found myself at the end of April as politicians responded to a petition, signed by over 200,000 people, to discuss whether it was right to legalise assisted dying here in the UK.  As you can imagine, the argument is a highly emotional and sensitive one.


I appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, the BBC News Channel, Sky News and numerous local radio stations, providing an alternative voice to the pro-AD views championed by campaigners such as Dame Esther Rantzen.  The Daily Telegraph and The Sun also ran in-depth articles on my stance.

The media interest followed my latest novel, Shaking Hands with Elvis, which imagines a UK where state sponsored euthanasia has been not only legalised, but commercialised.  While writing the book I conducted extensive research, including what has unfolded in countries where assisted dying is already legal.  After conducting a deep dive into the hard facts, shifting parameters, bleak practicalities and risks of legalised assisted dying, I found myself doing a complete U-turn on my earlier support for AD.

Shaking Hands with Elvis isn’t a manifesto – it uses dark humour to tell a very human story and is never short on compassion.  Whatever a reader’s views at the outset, I hope the novel will at least make them think more widely about assisted dying by the time they reach the final page.  Whether it changes their mind, one way or the other, is up to them.