I Helped My Daughter Die

For a year Kay Gilderdale believed she could go to prison for the attempted murder of her own daughter, and then a court cleared her. The judge agreed that she was just a loving mom, trying to do the best for her sick child. The cheers of her relatives may have died down but the debate around this case has not. If out of love and dedication, Kay helped her own daughter commit suicide, should the law take action against her, or not?

Lynn was fourteen when everything changed and the start of it was so mundane. Lynn had fallen ill in 1991. She was diagnosed with severe form of chronic fatigue syndrome, known as ME, which attacked her body relentlessly.

From her fifteenth birthday she was paralyzed from the waist down and could only be fed through a tube. Her body was giving up. Over sixteen years she would be in hospital fifty times with a succession of serious illnesses.

Kay was there constantly for her daughter, but so was the pain. They both lived on hope that one day Lynn would recover. She had osteoporosis with 50% bone loss, ongoing anemia, liver dysfunction, hypothalamic dysfunction, and she got to the point when she said: I’m too broken. You can’t fix me anymore. She felt her only escape was to die.

She tried to break free, in May 2007, attempting suicide. However painful for her brother and parents there was no doubt that Lynn wished to die. She had painstakingly written her own online journal.

“My body and mind is broken. I’m so desperate to end the never ending carousel of pain and suffering. I have nothing left and I’m spent.”

Kay wanted to take her to Switzerland, but Lynn couldn’t wait anymore. In December 2008 she took a massive dose of morphine. Kay at first tried to convince her not to do that, but latter on she assisted in Lynn’s suicide. So now it was not just a family matter. Police and courts were involved.

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