Prue Leith supports assisted dying. Her son Danny Kruger MP is against it. Can a transatlantic trip resolve their differences?
Mother and son, facing off on opposing sides of a deep ideological divide, head off for a North American road trip. The Great British Bake Off judge Dame Prue Leith has long been a supporter of assisted dying, and as a patron of the pressure group Dignity in Dying, is campaigning for British law to be changed to allow dying people to have an assisted death.
Her son is Conservative MP Danny Kruger, who as Chair of Dying Well, the All Parliamentary Group, is also campaigning, but to prevent any change to the law. Prue and Danny visit the USA and Canada, where assisted dying is legal.
Prue first became aware of the assisted dying debate 12 years ago when her brother David died a slow and very painful death. She believes that people in Britain who are already dying, should have the right to a pain free and dignified death. Danny Kruger MP believes instead that any potential change in the legislation could lead to the abuse of vulnerable people.
In Seattle, they meet Sher Franzen whose parents died together, holding hands, at a time of their choosing. Prue says she'd like to see that in the UK. On Vancouver Island they visit Dr Stefanie Green, one of Canada's leading practitioners of MAiD(Medical Assistance in Dying), who has already helped more than 300 people to die and sees no conflict with her duty as a doctor: 'to cure sometimes, to relieve often, to comfort always'.
They also meet Dr Ramona Coelho who believes that the Canadian legislation has gone too far and is resulting in the disabled, vulnerable and old to be offered MAiD inappropriately.
Canada is proposing allowing MAiD for people with just a mental illness. Prue and Danny go to meet John Scully, a former BBC journalist who has suffered extreme depression and PTSD for 30 years. He wants to be allowed an assisted death when it becomes legal. Prue and Danny debate whether anything they have seen has changed their minds.
Prue & Danny's Death Road Trip airs Thursday 16th February on Channel 4.