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Assisted Dying and Ageing: Film, Plan 75.
A still from the film, Plan 75.

June 2024 – George Lee

Themes: Entertainment, Film

Assisted Dying and Ageing:
Film, Plan 75.

The film Plan 75 delves into the provocative and sensitive topic of assisted dying for us as we age, presenting a dystopian vision where a government programme encourages older people to voluntarily end their lives at 75 to ease societal and economic burdens. This narrative resonates deeply with ongoing global debates about the ethics and logistics of assisted dying, particularly as societies consider the impact of ageing populations and the associated economic pressures. This Curious Life explores and asks, can entertainment reshape our perspectives on ageing and longevity and help start the conversations that we really need to be having?

Assisted Dying Around the World.

Across the globe, the conversation around assisted dying is gaining momentum. Countries like Switzerland, Belgium, and Canada have established legal frameworks for euthanasia and assisted suicide, primarily driven by the principles of autonomy and compassionate end-of-life care. These frameworks often emphasise rigorous checks and balances to ensure the decision is well-considered and voluntary. 

In contrast, other countries maintain stringent prohibitions, citing ethical concerns and the sanctity of life. This dichotomy highlights the complex interplay of cultural, religious, and ethical considerations that shape policies on assisted dying. 


The Role of Film and Media in Societal Discussions.

Films like Plan 75 play a crucial role in bringing these weighty issues to the forefront of public conversations. Through storytelling, filmmakers can explore the nuances and human dimensions of policies and societal trends that might otherwise remain abstract or clinical. By engaging audiences emotionally and intellectually, cinema fosters empathy and deeper understanding, encouraging viewers to reflect on their values and the implications of such policies. 

Films and media serve as powerful tools for societal reflection and dialogue, challenging us to think critically about the future we want to create. As we continue to explore the possibilities and pitfalls of assisted dying and ageing, it’s imperative that we listen to the fears and hopes of all of us and from all ages and backgrounds and strive to build a society where longevity is celebrated rather than seen as a burden. 

By engaging audiences emotionally and intellectually, cinema fosters empathy and deeper understanding, encouraging viewers to reflect on their values and the implications of such policies. 

Piggy bank looking at coins

Financial Fears and Ageing.

A study currently running with NICA + Voice highlights the many anxieties that accompany the prospect of a prolonged lifespan. Over two thirds of all participants who have completed our short poll to date have expressed fears about financing a 100-year life, particularly the potential loss of independence and the ability to afford a long and fulfilling life. This sentiment echoes the themes explored in Plan 75, where economic insecurity and the perceived burden on society drive individuals toward considering assisted dying. 

Our study’s initial insights suggest the urgent need for robust social safety nets and comprehensive retirement planning. As life expectancy increases, ensuring that people can maintain their quality of life and independence becomes a critical challenge. Addressing these fears requires a multifaceted approach, combining policy reforms, financial education, and community support. You can take the poll here.

Plan 75 is more than a film; it’s a catalyst for conversation. By confronting us with a stark vision of the future, it compels us to examine our attitudes toward ageing, independence, and the value we place on life. As we navigate the complexities of an ageing population, such narratives remind us of the human stories behind the statistics and the ethical imperatives that should guide our policies.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts! Take part in our quick poll below to voice your opinion on whether governments should provide legal options for assisted dying for older people who wish to end their lives voluntarily.