David Tennant's terminally ill father launches passionate campaign for the right to die

Broadchurch star's reverend father Sandy McDonald has pulmonary fibrosis

Helen Nianias
Sunday 01 March 2015 13:07
Comments
David Tennant is seen as a BBC favourite
David Tennant is seen as a BBC favourite

David Tennant's father, the Very Reverend Sandy McDonald, has come out in support of giving people at the end of their lives more agency over how they die. “What I do want is the right to a peaceful end to my life,” he said.

McDonald called for “assistance towards a peaceful death” to be taken into account for terminally ill patients such as himself.

“I have pulmonary fibrosis. It just gets worse, there is no cure. I have had to address it and decide what to do," he said.

Pulmonary fibrosis is a rare and devastating lung condition, and McDonald, 77, lives in a retirement flat in Paisley.

“I have an advance directive which says ‘do not resuscitate’. I do not want to be fed by something in my stomach,” McDonald added. “What I do want is the right to a peaceful end to my life.”

McDonald was praised by his son at the National Television Awards. While on stage accepting the Special Recognition Award, Tennant said: "I would like to dedicate this to my dad. He's an inspiration and a role model. Thanks, Sandy."

Talking about the language used around the right to die or assisted suicide, McDonald argued that it's vital that it's made to sound less threatening. “I think we have the wrong slant, the wrong emphasis,” he said. “The phrase - assisted suicide - has criminal overtones in the minds of many people.

“We need to take seriously the provision of a peaceful end of life for all those who need and want it. Of course there would have to be safeguards and that should be discussed.”

McDonald was a Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. The church opposes assisted dying.

“We have got so many people in our nursing homes, in our care homes and our bed-blocked hospitals, whether elderly or seriously ill, who are saying ‘it’s time for me to die,’” Mcdonald said.

“I sympathise hugely with them. The doctors and nurses have their hands tied because they are liable to end up in court. I believe it is only just that the Church come together and discuss this.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in