Womenz Magazine

My mum was jailed for helping her pal die – she never regretted what she did

( Image: Eccleston family)

Drama Inspired by Writer’s Mother’s Act of Compassion Sparks Debate on Assisted Dying. The novelist Deborah Moggach – whose mother was convicted of attempted murder for helping a friend end her life – hopes the new drama she’s written will have as big an effect on public debate as Mr Bates vs The Post Office.

Deborah Moggach, celebrated for her novel “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” delves into the contentious topic of assisted dying through her latest drama, “Goodnight Darling,” drawing from her personal history. The narrative, resonating with the emotional gravity of her mother’s legal ordeal for aiding a friend’s suicide, aims to ignite public discourse similarly to how “Mr Bates vs The Post Office” spotlighted the Horizon IT scandal’s injustices.

Moggach’s mother, Charlotte Hough, a children’s author, faced legal repercussions in 1985, serving time for attempted murder after assisting a friend in ending her suffering. This experience, deeply ingrained in Moggach’s memory, fuels her advocacy for dignified end-of-life choices, a cause further supported by the drama’s endorsement from Dame Esther Rantzen, who is battling terminal cancer.

“Goodnight Darling” draws parallels to the real-life ordeal of Dennis and Mavis Eccleston, who faced a legal nightmare following their joint suicide pact, underscoring the complex ethical and legal landscape surrounding assisted dying. Moggach, alongside the Eccleston family and actor Tom Brittney, who is moved by the story and serves as an executive producer, hopes the drama will challenge existing laws and foster a more compassionate approach to terminal illness and end-of-life decisions.

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