A 45-year-old woman suffering from breast cancer has fast-tracked her plans to end her life at Swiss clinic Dignitas due to “antiquated laws” and the impending second national lockdown in England.
The British woman has reportedly been granted a special waiver by the Swiss government to allow her to travel to Switzerland for a final appointment at the euthanasia clinic near Zurich without having to self-isolate for 10 days.
The woman told the Sunday Times she has brought her plans forward to avoid an “agonising, protracted death” due to the UK’s ban on assisted dying as well as the imminent second national lockdown, set to start on Thursday.
Writing in the newspaper, she said she felt she should go now, before she was “truly ready”, saying that coronavirus regulations would mean she would be “forced to die in the presence of strangers, in unfamiliar surroundings, without my husband, family or friends to comfort me”.
The woman, who previously worked as a senior mental health professional in the NHS, said the current UK laws that rule assisted suicide illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in prison have created a ‘cruel’ situation and said she had been met by a “wall of silence” when trying to discuss the issue with medics.
She said: “When I have attempted to speak openly about what I feel is a perfectly rational desire to avoid a traumatic death, I have been met by a wall of silence from doctors.”
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She told the Sunday Times that she was diagnosed with stage four secondary breast cancer last September, then learned in August that it had spread to her liver.
She said she is in considerable pain and suffers from extreme fatigue and nausea, and is likely to die from blood poisoning, suffocation or strokes due to cancerous tumours in her brain.
The woman told the newspaper she “desperately wants to live” but since she cannot she is trying to seek an option that will allow her a peaceful death – something that is currently impossible due to UK laws.
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