Sunday People

Dan should have been allowed to die at home


mean that he would kill cancer, and cancer would not kill him. Seeing someone you love that ill is awful.

“It would be such an amazing legacy if it means that other families don’t have to go through what we’ve had to.” But Dan kept his decision secret from others – including mum Dawn, 75, who has a dementia diagnosis – as he feared being caught by police.

Assisted dying is illegal under the 1961 Suicide Act and is punishable by up to 14 years in jail – even if the procedure is carried out abroad.

Dan booked a £9,000 appointmen­t at the Pegasos clinic.

Fearing detection at a commercial airport, Dan paid £12,000 to charter a private jet for him, Sarah and his siblings. They arrived on September 20 and stayed at a hotel in Basel. At their meal, Dan ordered a chicken dish and red wine, which he could only swill – unable to swallow as his tumour would cause him to vomit. The next day Dan and his loved ones shared tender moments at the clinic. One poignant picture shows him and Kate

smiling together. A day later, the five were united for Dan’s final moments.

Kate recalled: “The doctor added the treatment to the drip and Dan pushed the button administer­ing it.”

Dan was cremated in Switzerlan­d and his ashes were sent to the UK.

Assisted dying is legal in certain circumstan­ces in Switzerlan­d, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and some US states.

On Tuesday an inquiry into assisted dying will open in Parliament.

Trevor Moore, chair of charity My Death My Decision, said: “It is outrageous Dan and his family had to flee the country to end his suffering and for Dan to die on his own terms. The Health and Social Care Select Committee must surely listen to those enduring avoidable suffering due to our blanket ban on assisted dying.”

During a debate last year, a majority of MPS supported a change to the law.

But opponents urged a “pro-life” view and said legalising assisted dying “would be a deeply damaging change”.

The Archbishop of Canterbury previously urged caution over an assisted dying bill proposed in the House of Lords. He said: “The sad truth is that not all people are perfect. No amount of regulation can make a relative kinder or a doctor infallible.”

The Samaritans is available 24/7 if you need to talk. Call free on 116 123, email or head to the website to find your local branch.

 ?? ?? LOVE Dan and Sarah on wedding day
LOVE Dan and Sarah on wedding day

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