The first half of "Right to Die" (tonight at 9 on NBC Channels 4, 36, 39) is such a clunky piece of storytelling that much of the audience may tune out.
If so, they'll miss a three-hanky tear-jerker, as well as a fairly intelligent examination of the issues surrounding terminally ill patients who want to pull the plug.
Raquel Welch plays a want-it-all psychologist and mother who's dying of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. As her paralysis intensifies, she asks her husband (Michael Gross) to grant her death wish.
W. Phil Penningroth's script, based on the true story told by Andrew H. Malcolm in his book "This Far and No More," is routine disease-of-the-week fare for too long. The woman's joie de vivre is expressed via imagery that looks like it was inspired by commercials (Paul Wendkos directed), and Penningroth's dialogue says all the usual things, in all the usual ways.