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  1. ITV Report

'The right to a good death' - Norfolk mum's emotional plea to legalise assisted dying

Zoe Marley with her mum Judith. Credit: Zoe Marley

A woman from Norfolk has made an emotional plea to legalise assisted dying.

Zoe Marley says the current law means families are being "criminalised for compassion".

The mum, from Cromer in Norfolk, faced hours of police questioning after her terminally ill mum Judith took her own life in 2018.

Now, her husband is also terminally ill with cancer and Zoe fears she will once again be trapped between the wishes of her loved ones and the law.

  • Click below for a full report from ITV News Anglia's Rob Setchell.

Zoe said the trauma of losing her 75-year-old mum was worsened by hours of questions from the authorities and the fear of being jailed for up to 14 years for assisting a suicide.

"Is holding your mother's hand while she takes an overdose because she is dying from cancer supporting a suicide? Would I be sent to prison for that?

"At the moment the law needs clarification and revision. People need to be able to hold their loved ones' hands when they're dying."

– Zoe Marley
Zoe Marley with her husband, daughter and mother on her wedding day. Credit: Zoe Marley

Zoe is backing the Dignity in Dying campaign.

Her picture has been displayed on a van driven around Parliament, where a fresh debate on assisted dying takes place tomorrow (January 23).

However, campaigners from the Care not Killing alliance insist the current law is correct.

They point to states in America where, they say, legalising assisted suicide has led to more people choosing to end their own lives because they "fear becoming a burden on their families and carers".

"We can't have that situation in the UK because it could lead to hundreds if not thousands of premature deaths."

– Alistair Thompson, Care Not Killing

The Crown Prosecution Service says 152 cases of assisting a suicide have been referred to them since 2009 in England and Wales. Just three of those cases have been successfully prosecuted.