Sir Terry Pratchett has defended his documentary about assisted suicide – Choosing To Die – as both support (and some criticism) flooded Twitter.

Pratchett’s documentary showed the death of 71-year-old Peter Smedley at the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland. The businessman chose to die through assisted suicide as he was suffering from motor neurone disease.

BBC Two’s Choosing To Die saw 63-year-old Pratchett, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, visiting Dignitas to see the man take a lethal dose of barbiturates.

Today, Pratchett told BBC Breakfast he wanted to make the film, “because I was appalled at the current situation. I know that assisted dying is practised in at least three places in Europe and also in the United States.

“The Government here has always turned its back on it and I was ashamed that British people had to drag themselves to Switzerland, at considerable cost, in order to get the services that they were hoping for.”

He said that Smedley decided to have his death filmed for Choosing To Die, because he wanted to show the world why he had opted for assisted suicide.

A Dignity in Dying spokeswoman described Sir Terry’s documentary as “deeply moving and at times difficult to watch”.

“People who did not want to watch it did not have to watch and were not confronted with something they did not want to see,” she said.

However anti-euthanasia campaigners have slammed the BBC for showing the programme, complaining that it promotes assisted suicide, depiate the broadcaster saying its aim was to open up debate.

Throughout the broadcast of Choosing To Die #choosingtodie, Terry Pratchett and Dignitas were all trending on Twitter and the response was mainly positive.

“With my personal experience of the misery of Alzheimer’s I absolutely believe in #choosingtodie,” said Suellewellyn.

Whiel bilbobaggins2k wrote: “A beautiful & dignified programme @terryandrob. Hopefully it will open up more debate with regards to #choosingtodie”

However NHS_ GP was critical, tweeting: “For most patients suffering can be greatly eased with palliative care. There are few conditions this is not the case. #ChoosingtoDie”

And ruby_ophelia had a more emotional response, saying: “I don’t care how childish or stupid this sounds, #choosingtodie should be kept to your own home, I do not think this needs to be broadcast.”

Did you watch? What do you think about assisted suicide? And was the BBC right to broadcast Choosing To Die?