Should we be giving doctors the right to end the lives of others by euthanasia or assisted suicide?
Fatal Flaws: Legalising Assisted Death is a thought-provoking journey through Europe and North America to find answers to this question.
Some 20 years after these laws were introduced, even
some of the most loyal supporters of assisted dying
are questioning where these laws are taking us.
The grandfather of euthanasia in the Netherlands, Dr. Boudewijn Chabot speaks of a ‘worrisome culture shift’ and that euthanasia is ‘getting out of hand’ – especially as it relates to patients with psychiatric issues.
The cost of ongoing treatment is putting pressure on an already fraught decision making process, and the many are questioning the motives of those tasked with making the decisions.
Meanwhile, the suicidal can simply ‘shop around’ until they find the decision they are looking for, or more worryingly – others can do the same for those they are tasked with caring for.
With powerful testimonies and expert opinion from both sides of the issue, Fatal Flaws: Legalising Assisted Death uncovers how these highly disputed laws affect society over time.
A Mother and Daughter – Lillian and Jette – are climbing up a mountain in Switzerland. A mountain that brings back a lot of memories.
They hike from cabin to cabin while they dig into a past which Lillian has spent many years trying to suppress: Jette was sexually abused by her stepfather throughout her childhood and youth. A part of the abuse took place in the same cabins that Jette and Lillian are now revisiting.
Jette has invited her mother to go on this trip because she needs to talk about what happened, and especially about Lillian’s role in it all. Jette loves her mother, but at the same time she can’t stand being close to her. Over the years Jette has begun to question whether her mother knew about the abuse or not. Naturally Jette feels a deep frustration. But she has a strong hope that if Lillian admits she knew about the abuse, Jette can find an opportunity to forgive her mother and reestablish a healthy relationship.
The mountain trip puts the two women’s relationship to the test. When Jette gets the conversation started, she doesn’t get the answer that she expected: Lillian denies that she saw or knew anything.
This is the starting point of a physically and emotionally life-changing journey, which forces the two women to face their own inner demons and to embrace the pain and the guilt, but also to have faith. The conversations intensify as the two women move up the mountain.
At one point it seems like this trip might be the last thing they will ever do together.
At the age of 19 Samuel Stefan, consumed by crisis, was drawn into a cult. It would be 10 years before he was able to escape.
Using a technique called ‘love-bombing’ cults prey on the vulnerable, recruiting new members with love and warmth. After a period of brain-washing, members are forbidden to leave, enslaved through psychological control, and in Samuel’s case, even violence. He was finally able to escape in the dead of night, persued by other members and seek help.
Cult Witness is an intelligent exploration of how cults attract and manipulate their followers, sharing the disturbing firsthand experiences of Cult Witness director Samuel Stefan and six others who have freed themselves from cults: Jill Mytton (The Exclusive Brethren), Jim Bergin and Judy Garvey (The Gentle Wind Project), Lea Saskia Laasner (The Janus Project), and Celeste Jones and Amoreena Winkler (The Children of God).
Analytical insights into the cult experience are provided by leadership expert Betty Sue Flowers; Benjamin Zablocki, chair of the Department of Sociology at Rutgers University; UCLA Professor Emeritus Bertram Raven, an expert on interpersonal influence and social power relationships; psychotherapist Miguel Perlado, who specializes in cult-related problems; and Urs Eschmann, a specialist in legal issues involving cults.
Cult Witness unravels the hidden world of cults; the hold they have on their victims, the reasons people form and fall prey to them and what takes place within..