A former NHS professional chose a “peaceful” death over “an agonizing, protracted death” after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
The 45-year-old woman, who was a senior mental health professional in the NHS, was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer last September, and had spread to her liver and that she did not have long to live.
In an interview, she revealed that she chose her heartbreaking decision over fears that delaying her death any further would “jeopardize” her intentions, and that the coronavirus restrictions speeds up her plans earlier than anticipated.
“I feel I must go now, before I am truly ready,” she said.
She also remarked that like patients who died from COVID-19 she was “being forced to die in the presence of strangers, in unfamiliar surroundings, without my husband, family or friends to comfort me,’ due to ‘antiquated laws.”
Despite taking the maximum dose of morphine available, she describes her ordeal as being “in considerable pain”, and suffers from extreme fatigue and nausea.
She clarified that she is not suicidal, but acknowledged that she would eventually die from blood poisoning, suffocation, or strokes due to cancerous tumors in her brain.
“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,” she shared.
“To go from being a senior clinical leader to feeling silenced and patronised by people who were once my peers has hurt me deeply.”
The woman has been granted a special waiver by the Swiss government, and will be allowed to travel to her hotel and on to her final appointment without having to self-isolate for 10 days.
While she has chosen to seek death, she described the “cruelty” of her situation, and that her choice would separate her from loved ones on her final days due to UK’s ban on assisted death.