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Esther Rantzen's daughter backs assisted dying campaign to avoid mum's 'traumatic awful demise'

Dame Esther Rantzen's daughter Rebecca Wilcox is backing her mother's assisted dying campaign credit:Bang Showbiz
Dame Esther Rantzen's daughter Rebecca Wilcox is backing her mother's assisted dying campaign credit:Bang Showbiz

Dame Esther Rantzen's daughter is backing her mother's assisted dying campaign, because she doesn't want the memories of her mum to be "destroyed" by a "traumatic awful demise".

Rebecca Wilcox remembers "in vivid detail" the demise of her TV producer father Desmond Wilcox, 69, who died of heart disease in 2000, and she doesn't want the same to happen to her mother.

Esther, 83, is demanding a debate and a free vote by MPs on assisted dying, after being told she has stage four lung cancer.

Speaking on 'Good Morning Britain', Rebecca said: "We would want mum to have the option of assisted dying so that our memories of her are not replaced by this traumatic awful demise. It’s all about her for us.

"Yes our memories would be destroyed and they were destroyed with my father.

"I can’t remember the last time I spoke to him but I remember in vivid detail everything that happened in the hospital before he died."

Rebecca insisted her mum - who founded charities Childline, a helpline for children, in 1986, and The Silver Line, to help combat loneliness for older people, in 2012 - wants to have a "dignified death".

She added: "Mum has been this person who has changed laws and who has campaigned for other people. This is the first campaign really that is about her and she wants to have a dignified death that reflects a dignified life.

"A bad death is something that a patient doesn’t choose so that is what we are talking about.

"We are talking about a good death for a patient that has chosen their death. And that death can be anything you want it to be. Doesn’t everyone want to die in bed?"

Esther - who presented the BBC's 'That’s Life!' for 21 years - previously revealed she had joined Swiss euthanasia group Dignitas, which claims to offer a dignified death to terminally ill people, as a precautionary measure "if the law does not change in time".

Assisting someone to die is illegal and prohibited by the Suicide Act 1961 and carries a 14-year jail term.