Unlike the millions of Corrie fans who tuned to Corrie as it aired at 7.30 and 8.30 pm, to watch Julie Hesmondhalgh, who plays the character Hayley Cropper play her final scenes last night, I waited until all in my house were in bed and I tuned into ITVPlayer and watched it in peace and quiet. Apart from the fact that I knew I could have a weep without them looking at me as if I am mad… men can be so heartless at times.. 😀
There had been out pouring of grief on Twitter as Coronation Street tackled the subject of assisted suicide before prime time viewing with some people saying it was not right to air this programme before the 9pm watershed. Death happens to each and every one of us.. none of us can evade it.. and we can’t shield our children from it… no matter how much we try.
Me, personally, well I am not a Corrie fan.. I can take it or leave it.. and to be perfectly honest it is once in a blue moon that I bother to sit down and watch an entire episode. But from Friday night, I have watched every episode has it tackled the build up to Hayley deciding to take her own life.. due to the fear of turning back into Harold as the medication gets increased to stop her agony with pancreatic cancer.
However, I am an advocate of assisted suicide.. and I personally think that it is about time that whole subject was debated and people were allowed to make their own decisions as to when and where and how they die.
The tears rolled last night.. as I watched Hayley say her goodbyes to those close to her, as she struggled to iron Roy’s best shirt for her funeral.. and begged him to make sure his shoes were polished.
In the comfort of her own home and in her own time, Hayley, knowing full well that Roy didn’t want her to go and he didn’t really approve of her ending her life.. she told Roy:
‘If there’s a bloke up there with a clipboard at least I can look him in the eye, I might not have had a long life but I think it’s meant something. So long as you’re alive so am I. You’ll be my eyes and my ears and my heart for years to come.’
Roy didn’t want Hayley to do this.. in the build up to her taking her own life, he begged her to stay, he bought her a gift which represented the events of their marriage… He even went to the cabin to pick cards so that Hayley could write her goodbyes. He told her that tomorrow would be another day and they will get through this… but Hayley knew it was the right time for her to leave the man she loved and the friends she cherished behind.
But no matter how angry he was and no matter how much he wanted her to stay by his side, he knew deep down that this is what Hayley wanted, so Roy abided by her final wishes. As they laid together on the bed.. with soft music playing in the background, she looked at Roy when he told her not to be afraid and said.
‘Lying here with you, how could I be? I’ve been lucky…I know what it is to be loved, truly loved, and really who could ask for more? I’m so sorry I have to go.’
Then she choked as she swallowed the lethal cocktail of drugs.. and passed peacefully in the arms of the man she loved.
Coronation Street scriptwriters should be commended on how sensitively they wrote that story line..
The only thing I would like to see is the whole debate opened up and the law changed so that people who are in such a situation, where they face a terminal death, can take their lives without the fear of knowing that their loved ones could be prosecuted for assisting them.
Last night as Hayley took her life.. she told Roy not to touch the glass nor was he to touch her medication.. she knew she had to do this on her own and knew what could happen to Roy should they suspect him of helping Hayley take her own life.
And perhaps the first place to start would be not to call it Assisted Suicide.. perhaps Assisted Death. I really don’t like using the term suicide.. yes theoretically I suppose it is suicide, but to me.. if it was not for the illness or the incapacity of being totally incapacitated due to a stroke, or not knowing which day of the week it is yet alone knowing who your family are.. the thought of taking their lives would never have occurred to them. If it wasn’t for terminal cancer causing a person such pain… then they would not consider this option.
Families know, that those they love that are left to face an agonising and prolonged death, would not want to be in that situation. They know their loved ones would prefer to be dead than kept alive living a live that has no quality or reason.
I have said this time and time again.. if we allowed an animal of ours to suffer such an inhumane death, we would be hauled before the courts, prosecuted, found guilty and would never be able to have another animal in our life time. Why do we give more rights to an animal than a human being?
We as pet lovers, take decisions, the we know will case us a lot of heartache, but we take them knowing full well that what we are about to agree with is the best for the animal. We know that their pain and their suffering will be ended..
Oh no, when it comes to another human being… we can’t help them do what they want to do.. end their life with dignity. We know through conversations over the years that the requests of a certain person are that when their time comes, they don’t want to linger and suffer and they want dignified death. Laying in a bed, in pain, is not dignified. Laying their with your family and friends having to see you in such horrendous conditions is not dignified.
We can vote, we can smoke, we can gamble, we can drink, we can have sex.. we make decisions every day of the week.. FFS we can even go an rob a bank, if we are prepared to do the time.. but we can’t make a decision as to when and how we meet our maker.
Yes we do have to protect the vulnerable.. And yes there will probably be people who would be liable to prosecution.. but come on.. in the vast majority of cases.. people makes these decisions when they are sane and in control of their mind.
I am pleased that Coronation Street decided to tackle this sensitive subject and they did so with dignity and respect for those who are also facing such a situation. If any awards such be awarded this year.. they should go to Julie Hesmondhalgh and David Neilson, for their parts as Hayley and Roy… Both actors acted those scenes with dignity, thoughtfulness and great sensitivity. Bravo Corrie for tackling this subject.. let the debate begin and let the law be changed…