A 45-year-old British woman with terminal breast cancer has fast-tracked plans to end her life at a Swiss euthanasia clinic this week, fearing she will otherwise be forced to endure 'an agonising, protracted death' due to the UK's ban on assisted dying and impending lockdown.
The woman, who until her diagnosis was a senior mental health professional in the NHS, has been granted a special waiver by the Swiss government allowing her to travel to her hotel and on to her final appointment at Dignitas, near Zürich, without having to self-isolate for 10 days.
In the UK, assisted suicide is illegal and punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
A 45-year-old British woman has revealed she has fast-tracked plans to end her life at Dignitas in Switzerland, due to the UK's ban on assisted dying and impending coronavirus restrictions
Revealing her heartbreaking plight in The Sunday Times today, she said that she feared delaying any further would 'jeopardise' her intentions and that due to Coronavirus restrictions her plans had been brought forward earlier than anticipated.
She said: 'I feel I must go now, before I am truly ready,' adding that like those who had died from Covid-19, she is '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.'
Describing her physical condition, the woman revealed that she was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer last September, which was already stage four and had spread to her lymph nodes.
In August, she learned that the cancer had spread to her liver and that she did not have long to live.
She describes her state as being 'in considerable pain' despite taking the maximum dose of morphine available and suffers from extreme fatigue and nausea.
The woman described the 'cruelty' of choosing between her loved ones and a 'peaceful' death
The woman acknowleged that she would eventually die from blood poisoning, suffocation or, her greatest fear, from strokes due to cancerous tumours in her brain, a scenario that she said 'tormented' her.
Under the Suicide Act 1961, anyone helping or encouraging someone to take their own life in England or Wales can be prosecuted and jailed for up to 14 years if found guilty of an offence.
Section two of the act states that a person commits an offence if they carry out an act capable of encouraging or assisting the suicide or attempted suicide of another person, and the act was intended to encourage or assist suicide or an attempt at suicide.