Mum, 67, had to spend £10,000 to end her life after a decade of suffering

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Glenys Porter spent 10 years prior to her death battling the advanced stages of Huntington’s disease, a neurological disorder which robs sufferers of their ability to walk, talk or swallow

Glenys Porter with her sons Peter, left, and Andy, right
Glenys Porter with her sons Peter, left, and Andy, right

The son of a woman who took her own life with the help of doctors at a Swiss clinic has spoken out on the legislation surrounding assisted dying.

Andrew Squires, from Southport, along with his brother Peter, traveled to Switzerland with their 67-year-old mum, Glenys Porter, where she underwent an assisted death at Dignitas, Liverpool Echo reports.

Glenys spent 10 years prior to her death battling the advanced stages of Huntington’s disease, a neurological disorder which robs sufferers of their ability to walk, talk or swallow.

The decision for the former jeweler to travel to Switzerland, where assisted dying is legal, came after she tried to take her life a number of times. With no hope of a cure, she traveled to Zurich where doctors provided Glenys with drugs with which to end her life for her.

Andrew said: “She moved into a cottage in Churchtown from Bath but it wasn’t until some years later that she went downhill.

“My stepfather Bill, who used to be a nurse in the RAF was going to be mum’s carer but unfortunately, Bill was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and died in Queenscourt Hospice two years before mum decided to go to Dignitas.







The Dignitas clinic near Zurich, Switzerland
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Image:

Sebastian Derungs/AFP/Getty)

“Mum had always kept Dignitas in mind but she had never really told us because of the current law not allowing people to have an assisted death. My brother Peter and I looked at a number of different options over three or four years such as us looking after her but she wanted to take control of her death.

“She wanted to decide if and when it happened. Assisted dying laws allows a person who is terminally ill – with six months or less to live – to have a doctor prescribe them medication in their own home with their loved ones around them.

“The key thing is it’s allowing people to decide when and where they should end their suffering, and most importantly to have their family and loved ones around them. The law at the moment lacks compassion and it’s unequal. My mum was in the position where she could afford to go to Dignitas because it costs somewhere in the region of £10,000.”

Andrew has opened up on the death of his mum after new data from the Office for National Statistics revealed terminally ill people are more than twice as likely to take their own lives than the general population. T

he data comes after several suicides and suicide pacts involving terminally ill Brits have come to light, with Dignity in Dying – a campaign group for greater choice and control over end-fo-life decisions – research estimating up to 650 terminally ill people are taking their own lives every year in the UK in lieu of the safe, legal choice of assisted dying.

This is in addition to the pre-pandemic average of 50 Brits a year who travel to Switzerland for an assisted death (costing at least £10,000) and 6,400 a year who suffer in pain as they die in the UK despite access to the best possible palliative care.

Andrew petition has urged those who support the legalization of assisted dying to sign Dignity in Dying’s, calling on the government to hold a debate on assisted dying. The petition must reach 100,000 signatures by the end of June for it to be considered for debate.

Molly Pike, media and campaigns officer at Dignity in Dying, said: “The data from the ONS proves that suicides of terminally ill people are not isolated tragedies but warning signs that the ban on assisted dying isn’t working and raises serious patient safety concerns. for dying people.

“Without a safe, legal option to die on their own terms, hundreds of terminally ill people every year are taking matters into their own hands using whatever means are at their disposal, with Dignitas only open to those who can afford it and have the physical strength to travel.”

While it is not illegal for people to travel to Dignitas clinics in order to access assisted dying, if they travel with a loved one that person could face criminal proceedings upon their return to the UK and risk up to 14 years in prison.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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