When I say I produced it, I nervously arrived at the studio twenty minutes ahead of schedule clutching several copies of the script. Patrick turned up ten minutes later with a copy he’d printed himself. He asked me if I wanted him to deliver the lines in a particular way and, as the ‘producer’, I said that it would be great if he could just speak as he normally does. In three takes Patrick reduced me to tears, three times.
Sir Patrick is undoubtedly an incredible actor, but I don’t think much acting was required for this particular job. The sincerity in his voice is real. Patrick has made no secret of the fact that it was the experience of a close friend suffering from terminal cancer and subsequently committing suicide, alone, which convinced him to become a Patron of Dignity in Dying.
When he says the words ‘This lack of choice and fear of what the next days, or weeks, might hold, forces some to desperate measures; Travelling abroad to die, Taking their life at home, sometimes alone’ I have little doubt that he was thinking about his friend who did die alone, and her husband who was not there to hold his wife as she took her final breath.
I think the message of this video is a simple one. There is a very real problem which many of us can relate to, either through the experiences of loved ones or our own experiences, and together we can change the law and make things better for those suffering at the end of their lives.