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British woman, 57, to be euthanised next week sends defiant message before her death

British woman, 57, to be euthanised next week sends defiant message before her death

She has been living with terminal cancer, saying she ‘didn’t tick any of the boxes’ when she received the shock diagnosis

A British woman set to be euthanised next week has shared a defiant message to others, saying that she is ‘at peace’ with her decision.

Tracy Hickman, who has terminal cancer, wants others in her position to be able to decide when the time is right for them to go, in order to avoid an ‘uncertain and painful death’.

The 57-year-old has dual British and New Zealand nationality, is calling on politicians to reconsider the stance on assisted dying in the UK, where it is illegal.

Hickman is due to die by euthanasia in New Zealand on 22 May, as laws brought in under the End of Life Choice Act in 2019 allow competent adults to choose an assisted death, under the conditions that they have a terminal illness, are aged 18 or over and have six months to live.

Anyone who decides on this option must also be in 'unbearable suffering' that cannot be relieved, while also being in an 'advanced state of irreversible decline in physical capability'.

Tracy Hickman, 57 (Facebook/Tracey Hickman)
Tracy Hickman, 57 (Facebook/Tracey Hickman)

Hickman is now using her final days to put pressure on the UK government to follow suit.

In an interview with the Guardian, she said: “Look at what New Zealand has done, and do it even better. There is a lot of focus on the right to life, but people should have the right to a peaceful, gentle death.”

Her partner, Paul Qualtrough, admitted that ‘no one wants to see her go’, adding: “But no one wants to see her suffer.

“The comfort I get is knowing [her death] will be gentle and on Tracy’s terms.

“It’s the best of a bad set of sh**ty options.”

Hickman, an accountant, was diagnosed with breast cancer in March 2019 after a routine mammogram, saying she ‘didn’t tick any of the boxes’.

"I was fit, a vegetarian, I didn’t drink,” she continued.

“I thought I’d be off work for a couple of weeks. I didn’t realise how huge it was going to be.”

She is due to die by euthanasia next week (Facebook/Tracey Hickman)
She is due to die by euthanasia next week (Facebook/Tracey Hickman)

While the cancer receded, by February 2023 it had returned – and was spreading, leaving Hickman in serious pain, with treatment side effects also including extreme fatigue and incontinence.

She says she now feels ‘at peace’ with her decision, explaining: “The closer it gets, the more peaceful I feel.

“But I’m so sorry for causing distress to my family and friends, although they understand.

“The alternative is to live for another couple of months or so but have an uncertain and painful death.”

Hickman has the support of her family, with sister Linda Clarke – who lives in the UK – saying it had been painful to watch her health deteriorate.

“If Tracy was still in the UK, I’d have to watch her go through a horrific death,” she said, adding: “Anyone who doesn’t agree with assisted dying hasn’t watched a loved one go through this – the pain, the humiliation, everything taken away.”

Featured Image Credit: Facebook/Tracey Hickman

Topics: Health, World News, UK News, Politics