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FamiliesHealthMust ReadThe tragic end of the dad who wanted to die with dignity

The tragic end of the dad who wanted to die with dignity

A campaigner for assisted dying who was too ill to travel to a foreign euthanasia clinic has died after he starved himself.

Tony Mitchell, 68, suffered from MS and cancer of the oesophagus and was due to travel to Dignatas in Switzerland.

But he suffered a heart attack earlier this month which prevented him flying alone and was forced to cancel the trip.

He feared his family would be arrested for assisting a suicide if they helped him travel, so stopped eating and was transferred to hospital.

Married Mr Mitchell, from Frome, Somerset, died a week later on Saturday.

Debbie Shingler of Frome and her dad Tony Mitchell. See SWNS story SWDIE; A campaigner for assisted dying who was too ill to travel to a foreign euthanasia clinic has died after he starved himself. Tony Mitchell, 68, suffered from MS and cancer of the oesophagus and was due to travel to Dignatas in Switzerland. But he suffered a heart attack earlier this month which prevented him flying alone and was forced to cancel the trip. He feared his family would be arrested for assisting a suicide if they helped him travel, so stopped eating and was transferred to hospital.

Debbie and her dad Tony

Speaking from hospital just days before his death he called for euthanasia to be legalised.

He said: “Everyone has a right to die how and when they wish. I wish the heart attack took me and I’d have been out of it.

“I can’t swallow, the only thing I can swallow is ice cream and cold coffee.

“I only accept pain relief and a small amount of liquid, other than that, nothing.”

His daughter Debbie added: “It was bad enough knowing what dad wanted but it was his wish, and we’d come to terms with that.

“But now having to watch him refuse drink, refuse food and basically starve himself to death, just because over here they want you to hold on to life, however poor – it is just wrong.

“It’s worse than watching my dad take that drink over in Zurich.

“It should be law over here that he could die the way he wanted to.”

Mr Mitchell fell ill at his home on September 5, and his family called an ambulance which took him to Royal United Hospital in Bath, where medics diagnosed a heart attack.

He was due to fly to the Dignitas clinic in Zurich on Sunday.

He worried that if his family had taken him to Switzerland in a wheelchair, they would be arrested on their return to the UK.

MPs rejected right to die plans in a Commons vote last week.

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