Simon Binner’s death by assisted suicide at a Swiss assisted suicide clinic, was filmed and aired on BBC under the title: How to die: Simon’s Choice. When the documentary was released in February 2016, Deborah Binner, Simon’s wife, told the Independent News that the documentary was “beautiful.” She stated:
“We have done it to show the complexities of the argument. It’s not a black and white issue,” she said.
Almost 3 years later, Deborah published a book – Yet Here I Am – where she writes about her experience with the assisted suicide death of her husband and the natural death of her daughter Chloë a few years earlier.
Deborah has changed her mind:
My head understands the intellectual arguments and I find it hard to disagree with them. But my heart still says no. Should we not be kinder, more patient, more respectful of human life?
Isn’t how we support the dying so central to who we are as human beings? And there’s a part of me that believes it’s better, if a person has the best possible care, to let nature take its course.
I worry deeply about how people who are ill can lose the sense of mattering to other people. If there were the option of ending it all relatively simply, would they feel pressure to opt for that rather than become a ‘nuisance’?
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Then there are the after-effects on the family and friends left behind. Personally, I am absolutely fuming that my husband left me to fend in this world alone. That was not the deal.
Simon learned about a film crew that was looking for a story like his when he contacted the Swiss assisted suicide clinic.
He was keen to document his experience — he had a strong altruistic streak and wondered if it would be of use to someone else. Subconsciously, I thought he’d forget about it and we could get on with living, albeit in a different way, as we had with Chloë. But he deteriorated quickly over the next few months.
Deborah Binner states that she is angry that her husband died by assisted suicide. Hopefully others will read her story and decide that caring is always better than killing.