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Esther Rantzen pleads for assisted dying as daughter gives an update

Dame Esther Rantzen’s daughter, Rebecca Wilcox, has spoken out about her mother’s cancer diagnosis and decision to become a member of Dignitas, the physician-assisted suicide clinic. Esther, a renowned campaigner and journalist, revealed in December that she had been diagnosed with stage four lung cancer and had joined Dignitas. Since then, she has stepped down from her position as president of Childline, the counseling service for children and young people that she founded.

Speaking on Loose Women, Rebecca provided an update on her mother’s condition and her decision to join Dignitas. Rebecca said, “Fortunately, she is doing ok. We don’t know what is going to happen next… She [Esther] says, ‘I don’t know, that’s why I’m here.'”

Rebecca also shared her reaction to learning about her mother’s decision to join Dignitas, saying, “Probably the same time as you! It was a little surprising… I’ve always known about how she feels about death and dying… she’s done documentaries, she’s done newspaper articles and books.”

Esther also expressed her pride in Rebecca taking over her role at Childline in a voice message. She said, “I am incredibly proud of Rebecca… I know she’ll do it brilliantly and I know she’ll love doing it.”

Rebecca responded to the message, saying, “I don’t feel I could do anything at all in relation to how brilliant she’s been but I just want to do my best… I am just so proud to be a part of.”

Esther also made a plea to viewers regarding the debate on assisted dying. She said, “If you do agree with me, please, please make your views known to your MP… all we ask for is the choice.”

Rebecca added, “The fact that she isn’t allowed to choose how she dies doesn’t make any sense to any of us… it makes sense in a way that this is the debate that’s coming to the forefront of our family.”

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