Mum admits ending suffering son's life with morphine

Antonya Cooper is now terminally ill herself
-Credit: (Image: PA)

A mother has confessed to ending her seven-yearold son's life with a "large dose of morphine" in order to relieve him from suffering with stage four cancer.

Antonya Cooper, 77, revealed she "quietly" terminated the life of her terminally ill son Hamish, who was battling neuroblastoma, a rare cancer that predominantly affects children. Antonya explained Hamish was in "a lot of pain" before he died in 1981. Now, the mother is facing a terminal diagnosis herself.

Antonya made her confession on BBC Radio Oxford as part of her campaign to advocate for changes in the law surrounding assisted dying, which is currently prohibited in the UK. Hamish was just five years old when he was diagnosed with the aggressive disease and given a prognosis of three months.

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The brave young boy endured 16 gruelling months of egregious cancer treatments at Great Ormond Street Hospital, which extended his life. Yet according to his mother, these interventions left him in severe discomfort, reports the Mirror.

She detailed: "On Hamish's last night, when he said he was in a lot of pain, I said: 'Would you like me to remove the pain? ' and he said: 'Yes please, mama. And through his Hickman Catheter, external, I gave him a large dose of morphine that did quietly end his life."

Considering whether Hamish comprehended what his mother aimed to do, Antonya responded: "I feel very strongly that at the point of Hamish telling me he was in pain, and asking me if I could remove his pain, he knew, he knew somewhere what was going to happen. For the latest Welsh news delivered to your inbox sign up to our newsletter

"But I cannot obviously tell you why or how, but I was his mother, he loved his mother, and I totally loved him, and I was not going to let him suffer, and I feel he really knew where he was going."

She added: "It was the right thing to do. My son was facing the most horrendous suffering and intense pain, I was not going to allow him to go through that."

When asked if she comprehended that she could be confessing to manslaughter or murder, her answer was "yes". "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," she said.

Hamish was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 5
Hamish was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 5

Now, four decades later, Antonya is battling a terminal cancer herself that, as she puts it, has cemented her views on assisted deaths. She remarked: "We don't do it to our pets. Why should we do it to humans? ".

Campaigners for the 'Right to Die' argue that people should have autonomy over how and when they choose to end their lives in an effort to avoid suffering. Critics counter this, arguing altering the law would "place pressure on vulnerable people to end their lives".

Upon hearing of Antonyas revelation Thames Valley Police said they are "aware of reports relating to an apparent case of assisted dying of a seven-year-old boy in 1981". In conclusion, the service added: "At this early stage, the force is making enquiries into these reports and is not in a position to comment further while these investigations continue."