Dame Esther Rantzen’s daughter faces an ‘impossible decision’ on whether to break the law and help her terminally-ill mother take her own life or to leave TV legend to ‘die alone’ at an assisted death clinic in Switzerland

Dame Esther Rantzen‘s daughter has implied she may choose to break the law to aid her mother in an assisted death. 

Esther, best known for presenting and producing the hit BBC show That’s Life! from, is one of the nation’s most well known advocates for assisted suicide, after being diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last January. 

Last December, she revealed that she has signed up for Dignitas, the most well-known assisted suicide clinic in Switzerland, and said that she ‘might buzz off to Zurich’ if her complex cancer treatment doesn’t work. 

In England and Wales, assisted suicide can be prosecuted with a maximum prison sentence of 14 years.  

But despite the enormous personal risk, her daughter, Rebecca Wilcox, hinted that she would help her mother attend a Dignitas clinic. 

Despite the enormous personal risk Dame Esther Rantzen's (pictured, right) daughter, Rebecca Wilcox (pictured, left), hinted that she would help her mother attend a Dignitas clinic

Despite the enormous personal risk Dame Esther Rantzen’s (pictured, above) daughter, Rebecca Wilcox hinted that she would help her mother attend a Dignitas clinic

Wilcox, herself a TV presenter, wrote in Saga magazine: ‘If she goes – at the moment it would be her only option for an assisted death – she will have to go alone. It is against the law to accompany her. I would face ­prosecution for manslaughter and could receive up to 14 years in prison.

‘Even if it doesn’t go to trial, many people face a two-year investigation. I have a young family with two children, a busy home and a complex job. I shouldn’t have to risk going to prison just to keep mum company, but I’m not sure I could let her go alone.

‘It’s an impossible decision to have to make: either risk possible prosecution at the worst time of my life, when I have just lost my adored mum, or do the unthinkable and let her die alone in a foreign country with no one she knows or loves to hold her hand.’

Wilcox added: ‘The thought of her actually dying is abominable, but the thought of her dying in pain is unthinkable. 

‘Her health is not great and her illness has no cure. The ­prognosis may lead to a painful death that might not be eased with palliative care and opioid painkillers.’

She wrote of the pride she felt for her mother’s campaigning work, and called on the British government to implement a legal path to assisted suicide. 

‘I don’t understand the lack of action by our government, which seems unable to commit on the subject. It’s inhumane. The opportunity to have an assisted, comfortable death in countries like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland shows a level of compassion in the lawmakers that seems sadly absent from England today.’