'I should have been allowed to do this at home': Bob Cole calls for UK law change before ending life at Swiss clinic

There were months of uncertainty, but in the end it was a simple crossword that did it.

Bob Cole had been unsure of when the right moment would be to travel to Switzerland to take his own life.

But last week, when he struggled to complete what should have been a simple puzzle, he was sure that his condition had deteriorated to the point where he should take his own life.

He invited ITV News to travel to Switzerland with him.

Dignitas, the so-called ‘death clinic’, is not as you might imagine it.

On first sight, the nondescript block on an industrial estate near Zurich hardly appears like a place where many would chose to die - not the soothing, tranquil environment that you might expect. But hundreds have selected this place to end their lives.

At 2pm, Bob joined them - travelling to the facility for his ‘appointment’.

But unlike most patients who pass through its doors, the 68-year old carpenter and campaigner from Chester has been here before.

He emerged from here 18 months ago - as a grieving husband.

Bob and his wife Ann - partners for 34 years - were once frequent visitors to Switzerland, thanks to their shared passion for mountain climbing. But the Alpine peaks become insurmountable long ago.

In 2012, Ann was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Her diagnosis was revised to supra nuclear palsy shortly afterwards. The incurable condition leads to the loss of eyesight and the inability to swallow.

As her health worsened, she and her husband began researching Dignitas.

Then, in February 2014, they travelled to Switzerland so Ann could die there. Bob and a group of close friends huddled around her bed as her favourite music played and she pressed the button that would trigger her death.

Ann died at Dignitas in February 2014. Credit: ITV News

But then, as Bob planned his “new start” a few months later, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer.

Almost immediately, he considered the possibility of ending his life the same way his wife had ended her’s.

And so, on Wednesday, Bob travelled to Zurich for his final checks with a Dignitas doctor. I met him shortly after the medical assessment had finished.

As Bob sank into his chair, sipping a glass of white wine, it was clear that his health had become even worse since we last spoke, three weeks earlier.

Bob and Anne were married for 34 years. Credit: ITV News

But he said that despite his frailty, he was sure he had no regrets about his decision.

“My mind is made up,” he told me with a defiant tone, but with a cracking voice.

“I’m fed up of sitting in bed and watching the TV - I’ve seen more than enough TV now,” he joked.

He said one of his final wishes was for a change in the law which bans assisted suicides in the UK.

“I should have been able to do this at home,” he said.

The House of Commons will vote on proposals to change the law next month.

ITV News' UK Editor Rohit Kachroo reports: