Right to Die (1987)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Docudrama, Medical Drama  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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Raquel Welch's astonishing performance in the made-for-TV Right to Die compensates for any number of script deficiencies. Ms. Welch plays a successful psychologist with a happy home life who is suddenly stricken with the dreaded neurological affliction ALS (aka "Lou Gehrig's Disease"). At first, she is determined to fight for her life, but as her conditions deteriorates and she becomes more of a human vegetable, Ms. Welch begs her husband (Michael Gross) to help her die. The producers of Right to Die chose Raquel Welch not so much for her resemblance to the real-life person upon whom the story is based, but in the hopes that this "offbeat" piece of casting would attract a large TV audience. Ms. Welch accepted the role to counter industry accusations that she was impossible to work with. Thus the motivations behind Right to Die were more commercially oriented than the film's subject matter deserved, but this can be excused in the light of Welch's harrowingly accurate portrayal of a woman literally dying by inches before our eyes.

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Keywords

ALS [Lou Gehrig's Disease], assisted-suicide, dignity, husband-and-wife, vegetable [comatose state], psychology