(This post was originally posted by Flaming Nora on the Coronation Street Blog January 2014, reposted to this blog with permission.)
One of the most talked about storylines in Coronation Street history came to a moving conclusion this week in Canada when Hayley Cropper decided it is time to end her life.
With devoted husband Roy at her side Hayley prepares to bring her suffering to an end before the treatment for cancer renders her incapable of doing so.
Determined not to implicate Roy in her suicide Hayley has planned everything and even his last minute pleas for her to change her mind do not soften her resolve.
When Anna Windass, Fiz Stape and Carla Connor arrive at the flat they find a devastated Roy struggling to come to terms with the death of his soulmate.
Ever since Hayley told Roy of her plans to take her death into her own hands the nation has been divided by her decision and the storyline has also reignited the Right to Die debate.
And in coming weeks the two sides of the debate will be shown on the soap as Roy struggles to deal with the fact that Hayley took her own life against his wishes. Fiz will also voice her dismay at the decision when she discovers the truth.
Coronation Street Producer Stuart Blackburn explained the decision to explore this difficult and controversial issue.
Coronation Street Producer Stuart Blackburn said: “Hayley has been through such a lot in her life and is very concerned about losing control as the disease progresses.
“The palliative care Hayley receives is superb but she is scared and fears that pain relief could cause confusion and a loss of clarity. She feels taking control is the right thing for her to do.
She is concerned that she might regress back to being her former male self, Harold. She has already had one such nightmare. So she came to the decision that she wanted to die in peace, to die with her clarity of thought still intact and most of all to die as Hayley - the identity she has spent her whole life fighting to be.
“Once she knew that she has a very short time left to live she set about getting her life in order so that she could take control of her final moments before the illness renders her incapable of doing so.
“This is a very sensitive issue and we will be exploring the effects of her decision on husband Roy who has a huge emotional and moral dilemma over her choice to die this way.
“Not everyone will feel Hayley’s decision is the right one and we fully respect this, for that reason we will be exploring both sides of the debate on screen.”
Actress Julie Hesmondhalgh said that she could understand Hayley’s decision: “I’m a member of the British Humanist Association so I have quite strong views in favour of it, obviously with all the constraints that have to be carefully laid out to make sure it’s not abused. I think everybody who is in favour of that bill will be at pains to say that as it is so easily exploited and misused in the wrong hands. When you see the cases that have gone through, it’s hard not to be in favour of it. When you see people whose minds are extremely keen and alert but whose bodies have gone, it’s heart breaking. I wouldn’t want to live in that pain and anguish, or see my family and friends go through it. I’ve always really understood Hayley’s decision.”
See also: A very special screening, Hayley's farewell
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