Wednesday 23 May 2018

Prue Leith airs support for assisted dying after brother’s ‘painful’ death

The TV chef has spoken of her brother David’s battle with bone cancer.

Prue Leith airs support for assisted dying after brother's 'painful' death (Ian West/PA)
Prue Leith airs support for assisted dying after brother's 'painful' death (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Prue Leith has shared her backing for assisted dying after watching her own brother endure a “very painful, miserable death”.

The Great British Bake Off judge has revealed she is supporting Guernsey’s step towards legalising assisted dying when its parliament debates whether to allow terminally ill people to end their lives with the help of a doctor.

Leith told ITV’s Lorraine of her brother David, who died five years ago.

“He had bone cancer, it’s really painful and it doesn’t kill you,” she said.

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Prue Leith

“If it killed you it’d be all right, but it doesn’t. You have to wait for an organ to collapse, for the cancer to get into an organ and for that to kill you, so he had a really, very painful, miserable death.

“The awful thing is that’s bad enough, but his family have never quite got those over those last weeks of not being able to help him, him being in agony, finally drowning in his own phlegm because he got pneumonia in the end.

“And in and out of hospital, and doctors poking and prodding and insisting on keeping him alive.”

Everybody wants a peaceful death, pain-free, in their own homes, in their own beds, with their family around them, and that is totally achievable Prue Leith

Leith, 78, said she was hoping for 21 of the 40 deputies in Guernsey to “vote yes”, although the legalisation of assisted dying will not happen immediately.

The States of Guernsey will consider whether it agrees in principle with a Bill tabled by the island’s chief minister, Gavin St Pier.

Should the 40-strong parliament agree, an 18-month consultation will be carried out.

The Channel Island would become the only place in the British Isles to legalise assisted dying if the Bill then passes into law.

Leith said: “Everybody wants a peaceful death, pain-free, in their own homes, in their own beds, with their family around them, and that is totally achievable.”

Press Association

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