Terry Pratchett talks about his early-onset Altzheimer’s Disease, Harry Potter
, the British National Health Sevice, and the existence of God, in this interview from the London Sunday Times
“The day after I had been diagnosed I was working in the garden and I suddenly realised I was whistling, and I thought regretta-bly there is this sort of inner well of humour or good nature, there is some kind of insuppressible source of good humour that I can’t actually manage to get rid of.”
He was genuinely angered, however, to find that he and others of his age are too young to get the Alzheimer’s drug Aricept on the NHS.
“If I ate myself into obesity I could get pills for that for nothing. If I wanted Viagra I could get that for nothing. But I can’t get a drug that gives me that little bit of extra edge. I can afford £90 a month, of course, but there may be someone who can’t in his fifties with early-onset Alzheimer’s with dependants – anything that gives an extra edge must be worth it.”
Last week’s Sunday Times story that patients who paid for their own cancer drugs would be denied NHS treatment enraged him. “In the early days of the NHS, if someone had a bit of spare cash they would hand it over to their doctor and he’d say thank you very much. I cannot see how paying for their own drugs undermines the NHS.”
A typically wide-ranging interview covering lots of ground–just like his novels. If you like reading, you’ll probably like Pratchett (if you can get past the trolls and dwarfs and the like–hey, they’re just people, too!)