Portsmouth woman wants to legalise assisted dying after watching mum die

A WOMAN is campaigning for assisted dying to be legalised following the death of her mother.

Thursday, 20th October 2016, 6:44 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th October 2016, 6:25 pm
Emma Cozzi, second left, at the summit of Mount Snowdon during her fundraising feat with friends Harry Lines, Connie Wilber, Zowie Sellen and James Roberston

Emma Cozzi has raised more than £1,800 for the cause and is urging the people of Portsmouth to join her national bid.

The 28-year-old, from North End, started fundraising after losing her mum Ruth earlier this year.

She died from a rare bacterial disease called necrotising fasciitis which destroys skin tissue. After watching Ruth suffer, Emma says other terminally-ill people should have the right to get choice and control over their death.

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Emma said: ‘All she wanted to do was go to sleep and peacefully drift away.

‘Watching her suffering in pain, distress and fear was totally unacceptable and soul-destroying.

‘It will haunt me forever.

‘Even with better end-of-life care, her choice would have been to be assisted to die.

‘For that reason, I have decided, and promised her, that I will do everything I can to affect change in this.

‘No-one should have to endure what my mum did.’

Emma plans to form a group and is urging people in the Portsmouth area to join her.

She has already raised cash having trekked up Mount Snowdon with friends Zowie Sellen, Connie Wilber, Harry Lines and James Robertson.

Emma is supporting the organisation Dignity in Dying, which campaigns for a change in the law to allow terminally-ill, mentally-competent adults with less than six months to live to have the option of safe, legal assisted dying.

It is currently illegal in the UK and anyone involved can be punished with up to 14 years in prison.

Assisted dying is legal in countries such as the Netherlands and Belgium.

Emma added: ‘Many people don’t think about this issue until they have a reason to – I want to help with changing that.

‘I have plans for more fundraising up my sleeve and I 
also want to hold events to raise awareness in the community.

‘It’s simple – terminally-ill people should have the right to die with dignity, and right now they can’t.’

‘This has to change.’

Anyone interested in learning more or joining Emma’s group should email [email protected]