Euthanasia: A Good Death?
Biomedical Ethics Film Festival on the topic of Assisted Dying
14-16 November 2008 – Edinburgh Filmhouse – 88 Lothian Road, Edinburgh EH3 9BZ
Box Office Tel: 0131 228 2688
Is euthanasia a good death? What is the difference between euthanasia and assisted suicide? Why has euthanasia been so much in the news lately?
These are some of the questions which will be asked in a three-day biomedical ethics film festival taking place in Edinburgh between the 14th – 16th of November 2008. During this event, films will be presented all supporting reflection on the subject of assisted dying.
At the end of each film, a discussion will be taking place with a panel of 3-4 invited experts in bioethics, science, law, medicine and politics who will support, but not take over, a debate lasting about 30-45 min with the general public attending the film.
Friday the 14th of November 2008 – 18.00 hrs
Channel 4 Documentary directed by Jon Ronson with Jon Ronson, 2008
The Reverend George Exoo is a seemingly jolly, but not very successful Unitarian minister from West Virginia, USA, who has drifted into helping non-terminally ill people commit suicide.
At the start of filming, Jon Ronson believed that everyone should have the right to terminate their own lives. However, as the film progresses, he begins to change his mind and starts to have serious reservations about what Rev. Exoo does and about the motives of his new assistant Susan, who claims she’ll help practically anyone kill themselves if the price is right: ‘For George it’s a calling,’ she says. ‘For me it’s a business.’
Saturday the 15th of November 2008 – 13.00 hrs
The Sea Inside (Spanish: Mar adentro)
Spanish/Chilean director Alejandro Amenábar, 2004, Rated PG
Drama based on the real-life story of Ramón Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), a Spanish ship mechanic left quadriplegic after a diving accident who fought a 28-year campaign in support of assisted suicide and his right to end his own life.
The Sea Inside won the 2004 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, the 2004 Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and 14 Goya Awards including awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Lead Actor, Best Lead Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress and Best Original Screenplay.
Sunday the 16th of November 2008 – 13.00 hrs
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (French: Le scaphandre et le papillon)
Directed by Julian Schnabel, 2007, Rated 12
The film describes the real-life experience of Elle magazine editor-in-chief Jean-Dominique Bauby after suffering a massive stroke that left him mentally aware of his surroundings but physically paralysed with the exception of some movement in his head and left eye.
The French edition of the book, on which the film was based, was entirely written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid during July and August 1996. It received excellent reviews, sold 150,000 copies in the first week, and went on to become a number one bestseller across Europe.
The film won awards at the Cannes Film Festival, the Golden Globes and the BAFTA Awards, as well as four Academy Award nominations.
The film festival is organised in partnership with: (1) the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics,
(2) the Edinburgh Filmhouse (venue for the event) and (3) the Edinburgh and South-East Scotland Branch of the British Association for the Advancement of Science.