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Antonya Cooper: Mother who killed her terminally ill son dies

Antonya Cooper: Mother who killed her terminally ill son dies

Antonya Cooper: Mother who killed her terminally ill son dies

Screenshot, Hamish had neuroblastoma and was given three months to live.

A mother who admitted giving her terminally ill son a lethal dose of morphine to end his suffering in 1981 has died.

She had recently admitted to killing her seven-year-old son Hamish in an effort to change the law on assisted dying.

The act is illegal in England and police previously said they were investigating the case.

  • Author, Charlotte Andrews
  • Role, BBC News

In a statement to the BBC, Ms Cooper’s daughter Tabitha said: “She was calm, in no pain, at home and surrounded by her loving family.

“It was exactly the way she wanted it. She lived life on her terms and died on her terms.”

He also said the family had been visited by officers from Thames Valley Police following last Wednesday’s BBC News report into his brother’s death.

Hamish had stage 4 neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive cancer that primarily affects children.

She had been in a lot of pain, Mrs Cooper told the BBC.

After 16 months of treatment, he said he was given a large dose of morphine through the Hickman catheter that “quietly ended his life.”

Asked if he understood he was potentially admitting to manslaughter or murder, he replied: “Yes.”

“If they (the police) come 43 years after I allowed Hamish to die in peace, then I will have to face the consequences. But they would have to be quick, because I am dying too,” he had said.

Video subtitle,

The 77-year-old was asked by the BBC if she believed her son knew she intended to take her own life.

She replied: “I feel strongly that the moment Hamish told me he was in pain and asked if I could relieve him, he knew, he knew somehow what was going to happen.

“But obviously I can’t tell you why or how, but I was his mother, he loved his mother, and I loved him completely, and I wasn’t going to let him suffer, and I feel like he really knew where he was going.”

She continued: “It was the right thing to do. My son was going through terrible suffering and intense pain. I wasn’t going to let him go through that.”

Screenshot, “I absolutely loved him,” Ms Cooper said of her son Hamish.

She said her suffering and her own ill health had cemented her feelings about assisted dying.

“We don’t do this to our pets (to make them suffer). Why should we do this to humans?” he asked.

So-called “right-to-die” activists have argued that people should be able to choose when and how to die to avoid suffering.

MPs recently discussed the issue in a parliamentary debate, with the government saying it was a matter of individual MPs’ conscience rather than government policy.

In 1982, after Hamish’s death, Mrs Cooper and her husband Alastair joined forces with another couple, Janet and Neville Oldridge.

The couple had also lost their five-year-old son Matthew to the same cancer.

Together, the couples formed the Neuroblastoma Society, which became Neuroblastoma UK in 2015, to raise awareness and funds for research into the disease.

Ms. Cooper later wrote a book to help families and professionals working with sick children.

Titled This Is Our Child: How Parents Experience the Medical World, the book includes the experiences of real-life parents and teens.

Screenshot, Hamish was left in great pain after 16 months of “beastly” cancer treatment, his mother said.

Assisted dying is the phrase used to describe a situation where a terminally ill person seeks medical help to obtain lethal medications which they administer to themselves. Assisted suicide involves helping another person end their life.

Both are illegal in the UK, but Scotland, Jersey and the Isle of Man have recently announced they are considering changing the law to allow terminally ill people to end their lives.

Over a 15-year period, 190 cases have been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service. While most were not pursued, there were four successful prosecutions.

After Ms Cooper spoke to the BBC last week, Thames Valley Police said in a statement it was “aware of reports relating to an apparent case of assisted dying of a seven-year-old boy in 1981”.

He added: “At this early stage, the force is investigating these reports and is not in a position to comment further while enquiries continue.”

The force has been contacted for comment following his death.

If you have been affected by any of the problems in this story, the BBC Action Line Has links with organisations that can offer support and advice.