Dame Prue Leith has a message for the government: it’s time to change the laws around assisted dying.
The Great British Bake Off star has spoken candidly about the painful deaths of both her brother and husband, explaining she hopes one day people will be given the opportunity to die peacefully.
“There are something like 7,000 people who die in unrelieved pain,” she said.
Speaking to Times Radio, Leith added: “There are some cancers and some complaints, the drugs just do not touch.”
The world-famous restaurateur swung by the station to discuss the new documentary she’s making about assisted dying with her son, Tory MP Danny Kruger.
Kruger is against medically assisted dying because he ‘feels there’s a danger it will lead to people feeling pressured into an assisted death’.
Of her and her son’s differing viewpoints, Leith said: “I keep saying to him, when you get to my age you speak about death quite a lot.
“I just feel it’s my life and if I want to end it – which I don’t by the way, I’m really keen on my life – but I would like to have the option.”
She added: “I think the law should change. I think we should be allowed to ask for medical assistance to help us die when we’ve absolutely had enough of life.”
Leith also spoke frankly about her older brother David’s death, sharing: “He just had the most awful, awful, awful death and it’s true that palliative care can be really great but the truth is it’s not great in this country.”
Touching upon her husband Rayne Kruger’s death in 2002, the Bake Off star previously revealed he’d asked for ‘a bit of assistance’ with dying because he wanted to go peacefully.
Addressing the UK government, she went on: “What I’d mostly like is Parliament to give it proper time.
“I mean, up until now it has been debated in the Commons a couple of times but it’s always a Private Member’s Bill, which can be talked out by filibustering.”
The Dame continued: “What happens is the people who are opposed to it – especially which happened in the Lord’s most recently – they just propose all sorts of amendments that they don’t really mean.
“They just want to talk for two days, in which case it collapses. So it has to be a Government Bill or a Bill that the Government promises will not be talked out, and then people won’t just prevent it happening.”