“I don’t want to suffer any more. I’m not depressed – I’ve never been depressed. I am a happy person. But my illness is now at the point where I don’t want to deal with it any more.”
30 year old Kelly Taylor says she has struggled with her condition all her life and has had enough. The terminally ill woman is now seeking to overturn Britain’s euthanasia laws by compelling her doctors to increase her dose of morphine and letting her die.She’s hoping the court will rule that doctors sedate her and then withdraw tube feeding which would ultimately lead to her death. The only treatment for Mrs Taylor’s Eisenmenger’s syndrome, which leaves her short of breath, is a heart and lung transplant, but she has become too frail for the operation. Her spinal condition, Klippel-Feil syndrome, restricts her mobility.
Last December, Mrs Taylor, who is looked after at home in Bristol by her husband, Richard, asked her doctors to increase her dose of morphine sharply. She had been receiving monthly prescriptions of the drug, to induce a deep, coma-like state of sedation, so that she no longer felt pain. She also made a living will asking doctors not to feed or hydrate her artificially.
Her doctors – a cardiologist, palliative care consultant and GP from Bristol Royal Infirmary and St Peter’s Hospice – refused her request, saying that it amounted to euthanasia.
Mrs Taylor said: “My consultant has told me that he does not expect me to live for another year. In that time I will deteriorate and that deterioration will become quite undignified. I want to avoid that.”
Last July, she attempted to starve herself to death but abandoned her effort after 19 days. She also considered going to the Swiss assisted suicide clinic, Dignitas, which has helped more than 60 British patients die. But she disliked the idea of relatives having to face police investigations.
“I don’t want to die in a foreign country, I want to die at home. While I have respect for people who go over there, it shouldn’t be necessary. We should have a law over here,” she said.