Sussex

Dystonia sufferer Jackie Meacock ends life in Dignitas clinic

  • 20 September 2012
  • From the section Sussex

A woman from Brighton who campaigned for the right to end her own life at home because of the constant pain she was suffering has died in Switzerland.

Jackie Meacock, who suffered from the neurological disorder dystonia, took her own life at the Dignitas clinic with her family at her side.

In December she recorded a video diary calling for assisted suicide to be legalised. She died on 13 September.

Her daughters backed her plea and praised their mother's "strength".

Speaking to BBC South East Today her daughter Donella Preisler said: "She didn't want to go away [to die] - she wanted to be here in her home with all her family."

Although Ms Meacock's condition was not life threatening it caused her constant pain.

'What she wanted'

Image caption Daughters Nina Sloper, Donella Preisler and Caron Gill said their mother wanted to die at home

In her video diary she said she was exhausted from the constant pain and shaking every "waking minute" caused by her condition and said she could not "deal with it any more".

She added: "If I was a dog, you would put me down."

Another daughter Nina Sloper said: "There are lots of people that don't agree with it and that's fine. But it's mum's choice.

"We miss our mum very much, but that was what she wanted."

Ms Meacock's daughters said they repeatedly asked her if she wanted to go through with the suicide during their trip to the Swiss clinic.

And they said they held her hand after she had taken the drug, which eventually killed her.

Dr Andrew Fergusson, from Care Not Killing, which opposes euthanasia and assisted suicide, said proper care and not assisted suicide was the answer to severe illnesses.

"What I want to see now is that this doesn't have an adverse effect on the important debate we all need to have about changing the law."

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