What did you think of Hayley’s assisted suicide in Coronation Street?

09:49 21 January 2014

Coronation Street

Coronation Street's Hayley Cropper with her husband Roy. Photo: ITV/PA Wire

Right-to-die campaigner Jane Nicklinson said Coronation Street’s assisted suicide storyline had “done our cause proud” after millions tuned in to watch the final scenes of one of its most popular characters Hayley Cropper.

Viewers last night saw Hayley, played by actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, take an overdose after giving up her struggle with incurable cancer and now we are asking readers for their views on how the issue was portrayed on-screen.

The soap has been praised for starting “a conversation” about assisted suicide and Mrs Nicklinson, whose husband Tony suffered from locked-in syndrome and died in 2012, said the show handled “such a sensitive subject well”.

However, other organisations have warned that the scene could prompt copycat suicides.

Mrs Nicklinson, who has continued the legal fight started by her husband, said: “You have done our cause proud. Brilliant performance. Nobody should have to suffer.”

The actress, who joined the soap in 1998 to play the Street’s first transsexual and won the hearts of the nation with her on-screen romance with cafe owner Roy, played by David Neilson, has also spoken out in support of the storyline.

She said it had been “a responsibility” and “a real privilege” and said she had “always really understood Hayley’s decision”.

The storyline is being played out as former lord chancellor Lord Falconer of Thoroton launches a bid to legislate on the controversial issue with his Assisted Dying Bill, which would enable terminally-ill patients to request assisted dying, subject to a range of safeguards.

The Samaritans charity, which advised producers on the storyline, has warned that the scenes of Hayley’s death from a drug overdose could cause a risk of copycat suicides and Care Not Killing, a campaign group opposed to euthanasia and assisted suicide, said the soap was “in great danger of normalising an occurrence that is actually very rare indeed”.

How do you think the storyline was handled? Please add your comments below.



  • Everyday this type of situation occurs and most people of a certain age will have witnessed something of a similar nature, yes it's tragic, but why oh why does it have to be portrayed on a tuppenny-ha'penny rubbish soap ?

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    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Oh Horace - how can you call Coronation Street a tuppeny-ha'penny soap - it is a drama up there with the best of them - and nobody is forced to watch it !

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    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Not an assisted suicide, Roy didn't pour the drugs down her throat, or stick a bag over her head did he?

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    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • My initial reaction was that Hayley seemed to reach the point of no return very quickly. I have no idea how things would progress in real life, but the way Coronation Street portrayed the story never made me lose sight of the fact that it was a drama, albeit a well presented one. The argument that it could lead to copycat assisted suicides - and although Roy didn't actually help her he assisted by being there - doesn't really hold water for me. There are depictions of murders, rapes, robberies etc. in many forms but these don't lead the public down the same road. There will always be suggestible people in society, but they are very very few in the scheme of things. By the time I had watched the numerous 'tasters' of the episode I felt that I had almost watched it already anyway.

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    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Until you watch someone your care love change in to a state of no return to health. You have no idea how you would feel to know that the one you love has had enough, and feel they can't go on. Real love is too help the one you love, with what they want and how they wish to live or die.

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    DAVE !

    Saturday, January 25, 2014

  • I thought the episodes last night were a very emotional and touching portray of such a sad story. The reporting in this article however is shocking!! ITV and the Emmerdale Producers Writers have been so careful to ensure all along that Hayleys decision to end her life was hers and hers alone, right down the last last few minutes when SHE prepared the drugs, SHE held the glass, SHE drank them and told Roy under no circumstances to touch the glass as this we HER decision and HER doing. This was NOT an ASSISTED SUICIDE ! Please get your facts right when writing your articles - your writing is very misleading.

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    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • Frankie80 - at least they reported the programme correctly ;)

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    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

  • In this type of case, it was portrayed very well. But - no two cases are the same. Nothing was shown of the help Hayley could have had. She didn't get the chance to see a hospice or talk in depth with a doctor or nurse about palliative care. It was all about just her decision and hers alone with no options open to her. This surely wouldn't happen in reality. And it portrays a scene of tranquility which may not always happen. Drugs can induce all sorts of effects before they are fully ingested. This programme shows only the fact that it's ok and simple to use death as an easy way out.

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    Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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