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A Short Stay in Switzerland (2009)

Just after losing her husband to a similar condition, Dr Anne Turner is diagnosed with a fatal neurological condition. So she plans to end her life herself. Based on a true story.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Will Knightley ...
Sagar Arya ...
Anthony Shuster ...
Bruce Alexander ...
Peter Foley ...
Fergus Walsh ...
Susan Porrett ...


Julie Walters stars in a one-off drama inspired by the true story of Dr Anne Turner, who in 2006 took her own life in a Zurich clinic having developed an incurable degenerative disease. Having recently witnessed the death of her husband from a neurological disease, Anne Turner is diagnosed with a near-identical illness and determines to end her life once her condition has reached a critical point. As her health deteriorates, Anne's son and two daughters struggle to reach a consensus over their mother's intentions and while they search for alternative options, silent recriminations and stubborn practicality threaten to tear the family apart. With her family at logger heads, Anne must also face the fury of her best friend, whose opposing views bring them into direct conflict. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

25 January 2009 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Eine kurze Reise in die Schweiz  »

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Did You Know?


Fergus Walsh practically played himself in this film since he was the actual interviewer of the real Anne Turner for the BBC back in 2006. See more »


In January trees in Switzerland are bald. The filming must have taken place in summertime. See more »


[Anne is being interviewed by a film crew in Switzerland]
Dr. Anne Turner: I think it's terrible that people have to come and die in a foreign country.
Interviewer: And can I ask you just one last question: is there anything anyone could say to you this morning to make you change your mind?
Dr. Anne Turner: [very determined] No. Nothing at all.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In memory of Dr. Anne Turner who died in Zurich on 24th January 2006. See more »


Featured in Julie Walters: 'Anne Wasn't a Victim' (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

A woman with a hideous, fatal, neurological illness fights to die on her own terms.
18 July 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After nursing her husband through the last throes of a hideous, debilitating disease, a woman doctor learns that she has a similar illness herself. She determines to die on her own terms, but first, she must convince her three grown children that the time is approaching for them to let her go. The title refers to an assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, where she and her children must travel in secret, due to the harsh laws against such suicides of choice in the U.K. itself. As might be expected, the film has some heart-wrenching moments, sometimes small scenes where the woman bids goodbye to a beloved cat, as well as larger scenes, where her children say their final goodbyes to her. Based on the actual life and death of Dr. Anne Turner, the film features exquisite performances from Julie Waters as the mother, and Stephen Campbell Moore, Lyndsey Marshall, and Liz White as the three adult children. The movie is a plea for the legalization of assisted suicide and the right of everyone to die with dignity. It is not an easy movie to watch but is well worth the experience of having done so.

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