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03rd Jul 2024

Mum speaks out after helping terminally ill son quietly end his life

Ryan Price

The seven-year-old underwent 16 months of “beastly” cancer treatment, before his mother took his pain away.

A mother who gave her seven-year-old son a lethal dose of morphine in order to ‘quietly end his life’, claims that it was “the right thing to do.”

Antonya Cooper, who is now dealing with her own incurable cancer, described how her son Hamish was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that mostly affects children, when he was just five-years-old.

Hamish was initially given a prognosis of three months, but following over a year spent at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London undergoing intense treatment, his life expectancy was extended.

The cost of this however, was “the most horrendous suffering and intense pain”, according to Antonya.

She told BBC Radio Oxford: “On Hamish’s last night, when he said he was in a lot of pain, I said: ‘Would you like me to remove the pain?’ and he said: ‘Yes please, mama’.”

The 77-year-old then decided to take matters into her own hands, and chose to put her son out of his misery.

“Through his Hickman Catheter, I gave him a large dose of morphine that did quietly end his life.

“I feel very strongly that at the point of Hamish telling me he was in pain, and asking me if I could remove his pain, he knew, he knew somewhere what was going to happen,” she added.

“But I cannot obviously tell you why or how, but I was his mother, he loved his mother, and I totally loved him, and I was not going to let him suffer, and I feel he really knew where he was going.

“It was the right thing to do. My son was facing the most horrendous suffering and intense pain, I was not going to allow him to go through that.”

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

“If they come 43 years after I have allowed Hamish to die peacefully, then I would have to face the consequences. But they would have to be quick, because I’m dying too,” she added.

Assisted dying has long been a very controversial and divisive subject in the public arena.

Assisted dying is illegal in the UK but recently, Scotland, Jersey and the Isle of Man announced they are considering changing the law to let terminally ill people end their lives.