Woman Who Ended Her Own Life Leaves Haunting Message

A 53-year-old Londoner, Paola Marra, has called on the general public and lawmakers to do something about the current assisted suicide laws after she committed herself at Dignitas in Switzerland.

After announcing her death in a posthumous video, Marra wished for real progress towards giving dying people the hope of a natural choice in the UK to be made by the first anniversary of her passing.

Before her trip to Dignitas, Marra spoke with the media and said that it would be “insane” for the UK to not legalize assisted death in the next few years, citing Switzerland as an example. Helping another person in committing suicide is a crime in England and Wales as per the 1961 Suicide Act. Additionally, anyone assisting might face punishment under Scottish law.

Dignitas has been the destination of choice for over 530 British citizens since 1998, with many more unable to visit due to illness or financial constraints. Overwhelming popular support for assisted suicide under stringent regulations has been shown in many surveys.

Under a Labour administration in England and Wales, lawmakers would have the opportunity to vote on changes to the legislation, as Labour leader Keir Starmer stated last week.

The Netherlands, Belgium, Jersey, Luxembourg, and the Isle of Man all have more expansive right-to-die laws, and the Scottish parliament is scheduled to vote on legalization soon.

Some are concerned that certain vulnerable people may feel even more pressured to end their lives if the practice were to be legalized. To avoid having her loved ones interrogated or in danger, Marra sent an open letter to the party leaders at Westminster explaining that she had to travel to Dignitas alone under the current legislation. She stated she was unable to take as many medicines after her “brutal” therapy.

If Labour is elected, Sir Keir Starmer has promised to hold a vote on whether or not to legalize assisted dying. On the other hand, Dame Esther Rantzen’s daughter Rebecca Wilcox has pleaded with Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to “have a vote now,” arguing that “thousands of people who are suffering today” would be better served by Sir Keir’s pledge.