Terry Pratchett talks about Alzheimer’s disease and assisted suicide

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My name is Terry Pratchett and I am the author of a very large number of inexplicably popular fantasy novels.

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I intend tonight to talk about Alzheimer’s disease, which I am glad to say is no longer in the twilight, but also about another once taboo subject, the nature of our relationship with death.

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You see, the disease moves slowly, but you know it’s there. Imagine that you’re in a very, very slow motion car crash. Nothing much seems to be happening. There’s an occasional little bang, a crunch, a screw pops out and spins across the dashboard as if we’re in Apollo 13. But the radio is still playing, the heater is on and it doesn’t seem all that bad, except for the certain knowledge that sooner or later you will be definitely going headfirst through the windscreen.

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I have made my position publicly clear; this seems to me quite a reasonable and sensible decision for someone with a serious, incurable and debilitating disease to elect for a medically assisted death by appointment.

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Let us consider me as a test case.

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Update (03.01.2010): Deutsche Übersetzung des Vortrags im Freitag. Zum Teil ausführlicher als die englische Veröffentlichung, dadür an anderen Stellen gekürzt.

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