Susan Sarandon expresses support for medically assisted suicide

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TORONTO — Hollywood actress Susan Sarandon says she supports medically-assisted suicide and the right for people to die “with dignity.”

Sarandon plays a terminally ill patient who decides to end her life in her new film “Blackbird,” which is premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Tensions boil over when Sarandon’s character reveals her plan to her daughters, played by Kate Winslet and Mia Wasikowska.

Asked about her position at a press conference, Sarandon says she believes everyone has the right to decide without their family members “being charged with homicide.”

She says the issue is becoming more discussed in the United States, where eight states have legalized medically assisted suicide, in part because of the increasing number of aging baby boomers.

“Blackbird” director Roger Michell says the movie isn’t “an issue film,” but normalizes decisions the characters make in a difficult time. The Toronto International Film Festival runs through Sept. 15.

“It’s an individual choice and it should be legal and controlled, and there are very, very strict perimeters around… talking to doctors,” Sarandon said at a press conference Friday before her film’s world premiere.

“It’s not just ending your life but being able to end your life with dignity and without pain, and I think anybody that has had a family member that has really suffered is very, very much interested and pro having that choice.”

The film is a remake of the 2014 Danish film, “Silent Heart.”

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