By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
Dominic Penna wrote an excellent article published in the Telegraph on January 9 concerning an article by Nadine Dorries, the former cultural secretary in the UK government, on how the death of her husband has made her more strongly opposed to assisted suicide.
Nadine Dorries has said the death of her husband at home only served to increase her opposition to assisted dying.
Paul Dorries, who died of bowel cancer in June 2019, asked to travel to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to end his life as soon as he received his terminal diagnosis, the former culture secretary said.
But setting out her opposition to the “distressing” practice of assisted suicide, Ms. Dorries said her husband had eventually been glad to spend his final weeks in palliative care surrounded by loved ones.
Assisting a suicide is illegal in the UK, so Dorries husband had said that he wanted to die by assisted suicide in Switzerland. Penna continued:
In her weekly column for the Daily Mail, Ms. Dorries said her husband told her he wanted “to go to Dignitas now, while I still can” on the day that he was given four months to live.
“In the event, that is not what happened. The process to sign up with Dignitas takes a considerable time … Paul’s short prognosis timed him out,” she wrote.
“But, as I will explain, the peaceful way he died at home four months later – surrounded by his loving family – only reinforced my strong view that assisted dying is wrong.”
Penna ends his article by quoting Dorries:
Despite his initial request to end his life, Ms. Dorries said, her late husband came to cherish the “attention and the banter” provided by those who cared for him in his final weeks.
“He didn’t die in a clinical setting in Switzerland, but at home in our arms,” she concluded. “And at the end, that was exactly where he wanted to be.”
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.