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'I helped my son to die'

Having seen her first husband succumb to Huntington's, Heather Pratten knew the disease's devastating effects only too well. So when her son Nigel began suffering with it, she was upset but unsurprised by his desire to end his life.

On his 42nd birthday Nigel did just that, overdosing on heroin with Heather at his side. Several hours later and unable to watch him suffer any longer, Heather placed a pillow over Nigel's face, smothering him.

I thought 'this has to end'. I couldn't take it any longer. I put a pillow over his face. When I took it away, he was gone.

Heather Pratten

Initially charged with murder, she eventually pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting suicide. She has campaigned for a change in the law ever since and joins us now to tell her story, which also features in an emotive new book.

Assisted Dying: Who Makes The Final Decision? is out on March 6

For advice and support see our assisted suicide and euthanasia helplines and our bereavement helplines

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