My terminally ill husband should have been allowed an assisted death at home’
A grieving newlywed says his terminally ill husband would have “lived better” if he had been allowed an assisted death at home.
Paul Gazzard married partner of ten years Alain du Chemin on Valentine’s Day, knowing that shortly after their wedding Alain would fly to Switzerland for an assisted death.
However Alain, 50, did not make it to the Dignitas clinic, instead passing away at a hospice earlier this month.
In his last weeks he campaigned for a change in assisted dying laws.
He was also pursuing experimental treatments for his glioblastoma.
Now Paul, 48, is speaking out for a change in the law as an assisted dying bill is due for its first reading in the House of Lords on Wednesday.
Peers will then debate the issue later this year.
Before he died, Alain, an optometrist from St Helier, Jersey, sent a video and an open letter to States Members on the Channel Island, where a Citizens’ Jury is gathering evidence on assisted dying laws.
Paul told the Mirror: “Fortunately it was a peaceful end and I am very grateful for the care he received.
“However, Alain would have lived better in his final months knowing that he had the choice he wanted here at home, without having to plan an assisted death overseas at huge expense and in the middle of a pandemic.”
Paul told lawmakers that the process of arranging an assisted death overseas caused huge stress.
The couple delayed his final trip to pursue a new treatment but his condition suddenly worsened.
Paul added: “Alain was a passionate supporter of an assisted dying law for Jersey and spoke out knowing that any change would not come in time for him.
“I hope his campaigning has brought this closer to reality.”
The bill, tabled by chair of Dignity in Dying Baroness Meacher, would act as “an insurance policy against intolerable suffering”, she said.
The law would allow adults in England and Wales, mentally competent and in the final six months of their life, to choose an assisted death.
But it suffered a big defeat the last time it came to Parliament.
Some people fear it may pressurise the vulnerable to end their life prematurely.