Coronation Street’s Hayley Cropper is to decide she wants to take control of her own death after being told her cancer is terminal.
The ITV soap will explore the controversial debate of ‘the right to die’ through Hayley’s cancer storyline.
Viewers have seen Hayley, played by Julie Hesmondhalgh, come to terms with being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and she has just been informed by doctors that her condition is incurable and she only has months to live.
But as her health deteriorates, and fearing the side effects of the drugs she is prescribed to ease her pain, Hayley decides that she will take her own life.
In October, she reveals her plans to Roy (David Neilson) who refuses to accept her decision, and the storyline will follow Hayley’s attempts to convince Roy she should be able to choose how and when she dies.
Coronation Street Producer Stuart Blackburn said: “Hayley has been through such a lot in her life and is very concerned about losing control as the disease progresses.
“The palliative care Hayley receives is superb but she is scared that pain relief can cause confusion and a loss of clarity. She is concerned that she might regress back to being her former male self, Harold. She has already had one such nightmare. So she comes to the decision that she wants to die in peace, to die with her clarity of thought still intact and most of all to die as Hayley – the identity she has spent her whole life fighting to be.
“Once she knows that she has a very short time left to live she sets about getting her life in order so that she can take control of her final moments before the illness renders her incapable of doing so.
“This is a very sensitive issue and we will be exploring the effects of her decision on husband Roy who has a huge emotional and moral dilemma over her choice to die this way.”
Julie announced earlier this year her plans to leave the soap at the end of 2013 after 15 years playing Corrie’s first transsexual character.
Writers decided the only way they could split up much loved couple Roy and Hayley was for her to be diagnosed with a terminal illness.
She and David were recently snapped filming a nostalgic day out for Roy and Hayley on Blackpool Pier, as Hayley is set to compile a wishlist of things she wants to do before she dies.