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A Short Stay in Switzerland is a 2009 British television film directed by Simon Curtis and written by Frank McGuinness. It stars Julie Walters, who won the International Emmy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Dr Anne Turner.[1][2] It was produced by the BBC and was later released on DVD in regions 1 and 2.[3][4]

A Short Stay in Switzerland
Directed bySimon Curtis
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
Running time90 minutes
Original release
  • 25 January 2009 (2009-01-25)

It was also nominated for other numerous awards including the BAFTA Award for Best Single TV Drama and Best Actress.[5]



Having recently witnessed the death of her husband from a neurological disease, Dr 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 Edward and two daughters Sophie and Jessica, struggle to reach a consensus over their mother's intentions to end her life in an assisted dying facility (Dignitas) in Switzerland (where this is legal) and while they search for alternative options, silent recriminations and stubborn practicality threaten to tear the family apart. With her family at loggerheads, Anne must also face the fury of her best friend, whose opposing views bring them into direct conflict.[6]



The film was inspired by the true story of Dr Anne Turner (25 January 1939 - 24 January 2006), who took her own life in a Zurich clinic having developed the incurable neurodegenerative disease progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP). Before being diagnosed with PSP, Dr Turner had nursed her husband until he died from a similar disease, multiple system atrophy (MSA).[8] Her brother also was victim of a progressive condition, motor neurone disease.[9]


  1. ^ "A Short Stay in Switzerland - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes …". 19 July 2012. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  2. ^ "Julie Walters stars as Britons dominate International Emmys". The Daily Telegraph. 24 November 2009. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  3. ^
  4. ^ "A Short Stay in Switzerland". 27 July 2009.
  5. ^ "A Short Stay in Switzerland (2009 TV Movie) : Awards". Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  6. ^ "A Short Stay in Switzerland - BBC One". BBC. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  7. ^ "YouTube". YouTube. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  8. ^ Boseley, Sarah; Dyer, Clare (25 January 2006). "I believe I must end my life while I am still able". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  9. ^ "Clinic assists doctor's suicide". 13 January 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2018.

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