To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Mum who confessed to ending terminally ill son's life on BBC radio show dies day later

Mum who confessed to ending terminally ill son's life on BBC radio show dies day later

Antonya Cooper wanted to ease her son's pain

Warning: This article contains details of assisted suicide that some readers may find upsetting

A mum has passed away just days after confessing to helping her terminally ill son end his life four decades ago.

When 77-year-old Antonya Cooper passed away just days after admitting that she administered her son with a lethal dose of morphine, first reactions might be one of shock.

However, Antonya, from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, admitted that it was all out of love.

Stopping her terminally ill son's pain

Antonya told BBC Radio Oxford last week that more than 40 years ago, she had given her son Hamish, who was suffering from a rare form of childhood cancer, a dose of morphine that 'quietly ended his life'.

Hamish had been diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma and went on to die at home in 1981 at just seven-years-old.

Antonya, a former chairwoman of Neuroblastoma UK, shared that her little boy was in 'a lot of pain' at the end of his life, which lead her to take such a drastic step to put him at ease.

She told BBC Radio Oxford: “I gave him a large dose of morphine that did quietly end his life.”

77-year-old Antonya Cooper passed away earlier this week, just days after confessing to helping her terminally ill son end his life four decades ago. (PA Real Life)
77-year-old Antonya Cooper passed away earlier this week, just days after confessing to helping her terminally ill son end his life four decades ago. (PA Real Life)

'She died on her terms'

BBC reported yesterday (8 July) that Antonya, who had been struggling with her own incurable cancer, had died at home.

The statement provided by her family said: “She was peaceful, pain-free, at home and surrounded by her loving family.

“It was exactly the way she wanted it. She lived life on her terms and she died on her terms.”

BBC went on to explain that the family went on to be visited by Thames Valley Police to inquire about the death of Hamish after Antonya’s admission.

The police previously stated that they were 'aware of reports relating to an apparent case of assisted dying of a seven-year-old boy in 1981'.

They added: “At this early stage, the force is making inquiries into these reports and is not in a position to comment further while these investigations continue.”

Hamish's final moments

Antonya had also revealed her son's final moments to PA Real Life in May of this year.

She said: “In the middle of the night, we were by his bedside. He was expressing that he had pain and I said, 'Would you like me to take the pain away?'

“He said ‘Yes please, Mama’, and so I gave him a dose of morphine sulphate through his Hickman catheter.

Seven-year-old Hamish had suffered from a rare childhood cancer known as stage 4 neuroblastoma. (PA Real Life)
Seven-year-old Hamish had suffered from a rare childhood cancer known as stage 4 neuroblastoma. (PA Real Life)

“We had watched him brave through all that beastly treatment, we had had him for longer than the original prognosis, so the time was right.”

Is euthanasia legal in England?

The reason for the police visit may have been due to the fact that euthanasia is illegal in England, and can land any person who assists in taking another life to be in serious trouble for murder or manslaughter.

However, Antonya previously campaigned for the right to die by your own choice and joined the Swiss assisted dying clinic Dignitas.

She also called on the UK government to legalise assisted dying so that people could die in a way that wasn’t 'so intolerably inhumane'.

When BBC asked Antonya if she knew that she had just potentially admitted to the manslaughter or murder of her son, she simply responded: "Yes."

She added: “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.”

If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, please don’t suffer alone. Call Samaritans for free on their anonymous 24-hour phone line on 116 123

Featured Image Credit: PA Real Life

Topics: Parenting, Health, UK News, BBC