The freedom to die in Britain: Geraldine McClelland

From beyond the grave: Patient attacks ‘cowardice’ of British politicians

From beyond the grave: Patient attacks ‘cowardice’ of British politicians

By Ian Dunt

British politicians' "cowardice" forced a BBC producer to take her own life in Switzerland, far from her country and her friends, she wrote in a letter released after her death.

Dignitas client Geraldine McClelland's open letter is being published by Dignity in Dying in a bid to drum up support for a change in laws which prevent euthanasia on UK soil.

"Please talk about my death. I am not sad that I will die today,” she wrote.

“I am angry that because of the cowardice of our politicians I can't die in the country I was born in, in my own home, but I am not sad.

“I feel sure this is the right decision for me and I am relieved that I won't be forced to suffer any more.”

The BBC worker, who produced programmes such as Watchdog and Crimewatch, continued: “I have chosen to travel abroad to die because I cannot have the death I want here in the UK.

“I would like to be able to choose to take medication to end my life if my suffering becomes unbearable for me, at home, with my family and friends around me.

“But the law in this country prevents me from doing so.

"My decision is made, I choose to die on my own terms and with my family around me in Zurich, and it's too late to change the law for me, but please, if you care about this issue at all, please make your voice heard,” she added.

"I appreciate that it is a difficult subject, but when dying cannot be avoided, let us be compassionate enough and tolerant enough to respect choice."

Technically family members are breaking the law by helping family members access euthanasia services overseas, but authorities have long turned a blind eye to the practise.