‘Mum died at Dignitas in 2006 – gradual progress on assisted dying frustrates me’ | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Dr Anne Turner’s journey to Dignitas was adopted by the BBC in 2006 – and later dramatised in a movie starring Julie Walters.

The mother-of-three’s determination to share her story sparked a nationwide dialog about assisted dying.

But 18 years later, her daughter Sophie says the UK’s gradual progress is “beyond frustrating”.

Anne had progressive supranuclear palsy, a degenerative illness that destroys mind cells inflicting lack of muscle operate.

Her husband had died of the same situation, a number of system atrophy, and the household witnessed him ravenous and dehydrating himself to demise.

READ MORE: ‘I requested Rishi to vary the legislation on assisted dying – his reply gave me hope’

Anne was decided to keep away from the identical destiny. Sophie stated: “She was categoric that she wanted to take her own life.

“Imagine knowing that you could end up trapped, just basically a brain, functioning, but you can’t speak, eat, move.

“It’s horrendous to think that people have that at the forefront of their minds, that fear about how they’re going to end their days.”

Just underneath a yr after her 2004 prognosis, Anne tried to finish her life by placing a bag over her head and taking any tablets she may discover.

Sophie recalled: “It was a horrific thing to do and just demonstrates how desperate she was.”

When Anne survived the try, Sophie and her siblings – Edward and Jessica – agreed to help their mom’s want to journey to Dignitas, the Swiss assisted dying clinic.

After telling just a few family members of their plans, the household went to Zurich. They loved a last meal and champagne throughout a weekend spent relishing their final days collectively.

Sophie stated: “I’ve never lived in the moment as I did then, before or since. Every moment was so precious. We made the most of the time we had together.”

Anne met with a physician and, after finishing the mandatory procedures, took an anti-sickness drug adopted by the life-ending remedy.

Sophie stated: “She very quickly said: ‘I feel woozy.’ Then she lay down and went into a very deep sleep. Twenty minutes later the volunteer said: ‘She’s gone.’ She died very peacefully and quickly.

“We felt this sense of achievement because it was what she wanted but also frustration that she had to travel abroad to die while she still had some quality of life left.”

The journey value round £3,000. Today, the fee is estimated to be near £15,000. Since 1998, UK residents have made up virtually 15 p.c of all assisted deaths at Dignitas, in response to a parliamentary report revealed immediately.

In the weeks after Anne’s demise, Sophie sat down for an interview with Dame Esther Rantzen to talk about the expertise.

Sophie stated: “I’m very sad that Dame Esther is now in the same situation herself. And I find it so upsetting that we are now 18 years on and people are still having to go through this.

“The kind of people who choose to have an assisted death tend to be people like Esther – that’s a woman who knows her own mind, if ever there was one. It’s beyond frustrating and depressing that progress is so slow here.”

Sophie added: “A lot of people don’t understand why people would want to do this. They think: why would you want to take your own life?

“But they don’t understand that people aren’t choosing between life and death. They’re choosing between two different types of death.”