British Woman Went to Cambodia to Kill Herself at Web Site Urging

Bioethics   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 9, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Woman Went to Cambodia to Kill Herself at Web Site Urging Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 9, 2005

Phnom Penh, Cambodia ( — An American who ran two web sites promoting euthanasia in the African country of Cambodia said no one came to the country that he knows of to take their lives. But a British woman has come forward saying her sister traveled there and committed suicide.

Roger Graham says he’s had the web site online for at least a year and he indicated he has had about 100 people contact him but he knows of no one who has come to Cambodia to end their lives.

But Sally Spring of Penn, England, says her sister Kim Walton found Graham’s web site after searching the Internet following the stressful breakup of a relationship.

Distraught, Walton was enticed by Graham’s touting of assisted suicide in Cambodia and made arrangements to travel there.

Walton, a 46 year-old mortgage advisor who had divorced more than 20 years ago, sent an email to Graham with the subject, "Death" and two exchanged email correspondence afterwards. A week later, she left her home and made the 6,000 mile trip to Kampot, according to the London Telegraph newspaper.

Several days after her arrival, she left a suicide note and overdosed on drugs and alcohol in a cheap hotel.

Spring is convinced her sister would be alive today if not for Graham’s web site.

"We were very close," Spring told the Telegraph. "She couldn’t have done it to me in this country. She would never have put us in a situation where we might find her body."

Spring said the failed relationship lasted only two months but she wished she could have helped her sister through the breakup.

"If she had been here I would have got her through it," she said. "There’s nothing we can do to bring Kim back but I just want the website closed down."

Cambodian officials have already asked Graham to shut down the web site, which he has, but they are still pursuing a legal case against him to put him in prison or force him to leave the country.

Graham’s site contained a detailed description of how to take your life and bragged that Cambodian law did not prohibit assisted suicides.

"In Cambodia anything is possible," it read. "For those of you who prefer to take charge of your own destiny, come to Cambodia! Live your life the way you want and end it when you are ready."

Graham insists he had nothing to do with Walton’s death.