HAYLEY Cropper has made the decision to end her life due to a terminal cancer diagnosis in one of Coronation Street’s darkest plots. Charities cross the U.K. are worried that the story line will spark a wave of copycat suicides. As usual, Coronation Street writers have opened up a hot topic in today’s social climate.
Fans of the soap watched as Hayley, played by Julie Hesmondhalgh, decided that she would rather take her own life than wait to die from terminal cancer.
But The Samaritans, which advised the producers on the storyline, warned Hayley’s death from a drugs overdose could cause a risk of copycat suicides.
A spokeswoman said: “We want to limit the risk of copycat suicides.
“That is why we advised them to give no details of the medication or how she obtained the drugs.
“Portraying an overdose, for example, as a gentle and peaceful way to die, can be very dangerous and bears no resemblance to the reality of slow liver failure afterwards.”
The spokeswoman said that they couldn’t stop show bosses from pushing ahead with the story, adding to The Daily Mirror: “We might not agree, but dramas all, at some point, cover these issues.”
A Coronation Street producer admitted that the storyline is a sensitive one, but they will “explore both sides of the debate”.
Stuart Blackburn said: “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.”
Hayley’s death will be screened over two episodes next Monday and Hesmondhalgh, who filmed the scene in one take with on-screen husband David Neilson, said there was “an almost holy atmosphere” during filming.
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Is taking one’s own life to avoid pain and suffering something you approve of? When a terminal diagnosis has been made, shouldn’t the person have the choice of dying with dignity rather than continuing to debilitate? These are hard questions and we’d like to know your thoughts.