Without having seen the programme it is perhaps also hypocritical of me to pass judgement on it. As I won't be in the country tonight to watch it I can only go on what I know.
To show the moment of death is perhaps the ultimate in reality television. It's one of the last TV taboos. I'm profoundly uncomfortable with showing it, if only because it could in theory tacitly encourage others to follow the path of assisted suicide.
But in the end one has to believe in the right, and power, of individuals to make decisions like this for themselves. LibDem MP Phil Willis said on the Today Programme that "you can't trust individuals to make these decisions" - which shows how illiberal the LibDems have become.
Clearly the state has to make laws in the area of assisted suicide, and it's right that these laws should actively discourage it, for obvious reasons. I could never vote to legalise assisted suicide. But I also would encourage the DPP to be very selective and sensitively judged in its enforcement. We all know that doctors and family members are making decisions in our hospitals every day about whether to switch off life support machines or to continue to administer life continuing drugs. These decisions may not be wholly comparable with assisted suicide, but they lead to the same result. The decisions effecctively put individuals out of their misery in the same way in which assisted suicide does..
Broadcasters also have a huge responsibility when commissioning documentaries on this subject, especially if they show the actual moment of death. So to that extent, the Mail is right to highlight it. On balance, I wish Sky were not showing it, but without having seen it, it is difficult to be 100% sure that they shouldn't.
If I were here tonight, I don't think I could bring myself to watch this programme. That's my choice. I would choose not to use the 'on' button. And whenever I encounter programmes I might find distasteful and have a gut reaction of wanting to ban, I always remind myself that the 'off' button is there for a purpose.
Sometimes it is good to find a sturdy fence to sit on! Discuss.