Woman told care home she was taking dad on holiday... days later he ended his life in Swiss clinic
Police are investigating allegations a woman told a care home she was taking her dad on holiday...then travelled with him to Switzerland where he ended his life.
John Lenton, who was 93 and suffering from Parkinson's disease, took his own life on October 26 last year at the Dignitas facility in Forch, Switzerland.
A doctor is believed to have assessed him as being fit to travel and make his own decisions before he left the home with his daughter on October 23. Six days later the care home was informed he had travelled to the Swiss clinic and had ended his life.
The care home then contacted Conwy Council’s safeguarding adults team, who advised it to contact North Wales Police.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Harrison said: “North Wales Police are aware of the death of a male from the Pentrefoelas area in Switzerland, and are currently looking into the circumstances surrounding his death.
“There have been no arrests made in connection with this matter and no further information will be released at this time.”
Under UK law, it is a crime to encourage or assist a suicide, and the offence carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.
With end of life choice limited under current UK law, it is believed up to 10 British citizens a month choose to die at the Swiss clinic, which was set up in 1998.
According to the charity Dignity In Dying, prosecution is less likely when the person had reached a voluntary, clear, settled and informed decision to end their life and the person suspected of assisting them was wholly motivated by compassion.
Its chief executive Sarah Wooton said: “The law should change to allow assisted dying as an option for terminally ill, mentally competent adults who are suffering unbearably in their final six months of life.”
Ms Holmes, 66, said a document – a regulation 38 notification of a death notice – had been passed anonymously to the Daily Post without the family’s permission.
She added: “This is a private family matter of no public interest. I feel this is not the right moment to discuss this in the press, however, I am more than willing to discuss the right to die at a later, more appropriate time."
The Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) said the care home had “kept us informed” but referred all other enquiries to North Wales Police.
The Cartref Bryn yr Eglwys home declined to comment.
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