It’s been almost four months since Christine Thornton lay beside her husband and whispered into his ear as he died in a Swiss euthanasia clinic.
It was a good death, the kind the couple had so desperately wanted. Peaceful. Dignified. Full of love.
Christine, who has shared her story to coincide with the start of Victoria’s assisted dying laws today, knew that Troy would still be able to hear her for about two minutes after the drugs began flooding his body.
“To me, that was peace of mind and I just made sure I said everything I could possibly think of to say,” the Victorian office manager and mother-of-two told AAP this week.
“I told him how much I loved him, and how I would make sure the kids would never forget him, that they would know how special they were to him.”
Sounds like a dignified and humane death. What was the alternative?
Troy, a veteran Victorian firefighter, was just 54 when he opted to die quickly, by lethal injection, rather than slowly from multiple system atrophy, an incurable and untreatable disease.
If the disease is allowed to run its course, sufferers are reduced to a vegetative state, and can often die choking on their own mucous as crucial functions like swallowing become impossible.
It inhumane to force someone to suffer like that, to become a vegetable, choking on their own mucous. I want to live in a country that gives people like Troy a choice.