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Kevin Dunn

Opinion,

See the film that helped defeat assisted suicide in Guernsey

Kevin Dunn

August 31, 2018 (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) – "During the government debate there was a moving moment when Deputy Graham McKinley, after announcing he had seen the Fatal Flaws film on Alderney, and how moved he was by it, bravely explained why he was abandoning the Requete." 

–Dr. Carmen Wheatley, Executive Director, Assisted Living, Guernsey (UK)

I had always hoped this film would be a game-changer. Looks like it's happening.

I've just returned from The Channel Islands, UK where we had two screenings of Fatal Flaws: Legalizing Assisted Death. One in Guernsey and another in Alderney. These screenings happened just prior to a three day debate and vote on assisted suicide. According to The Guardian, "if the Requete had passed, Guernsey would have become the first place in the British Isles to offer euthanasia for people with terminal illnesses." Instead they voted to improve palliative care on the island. 

The sponsor of the screening, Dr. Carmen Wheatley, Orthomolecular Oncology Medical Researcher and Executive Director of Assisted Living, Guernsey, reached out to me a few weeks ago and asked me if I would come to the Island before the vote. 

In an email Dr Wheatley sent me today, she told me that during the debate, a Deputy for Alderney revealed to all that he had seen your film there, had become very moved by the content, listened to the Alderney folk, and changed his mind. The other Requeteers were not expecting this final coup de grace. In a more formal statement, she wrote: 

In spite of misrepresentations of the film by campaigners, who refused to view it, and a mysterious blockade on TV and radio interviews from the one person on Guernsey, Kevin Dunn, who not only lives in a country, Canada, with such death legislation, but has been to no less than 6 jurisdictions/countries, interviewing doctors, patients, families on both sides of the divide, this documentary deeply impressed those few Deputies and the larger public who saw it.

She went on to say:

To the extent that 1 of 2 Alderney representatives, who had originally, – and probably against his better judgement, been one of the signatories of the Requete, found the courage shortly before the decisive vote to publicly and dramatically renege on his allegiance to the Requete, thus adding to the strength of the decisive final No vote.

In the film, I asked journalist Gerbert Van Loenen from The Netherlands, "who is telling the other side of the story?" He said, "I'm afraid no one." 

Through the testimonies of so many brave and passionate people in this film, we were able to do just that: tell stories of a highly underrepresented group of people and shine a light on a dark corner of the political and medical landscape. 

What could be more important than saving the lives of the vulnerable? 

Kudos to the entire FF team. 

Published with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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