Gay man with terminal cancer marries husband before assisted death


gay man terminal cancer assisted death same-sex marriage
Photos: Facebook/Supplied

A gay man with terminal brain cancer is planning to seek an assisted death after he married his husband on Valentine’s Day at the weekend.

Alain du Chemin (pictured above right) married partner Paul Gazzard on the British Channel Island of Jersey on February 14, in the company of close family and friends.

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In September 2019, 50-year-old Alain sadly received a diagnosis of terminal glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

After the wedding, Alain now plans to travel to Switzerland at great expense to die because of the looming “undignified” symptoms of his cancer.

“I’m not going to be around forever but I really want to leave Paul with some good memories,” Alain told the Mirror.

“As this tumour gets late [the symptoms] are not pleasant. They are quite undignified to be honest.

“Losing all your dignity is not something I want to go through.”

Paul said the couple had put off the wedding for some time. They waited for COVID-19 restrictions to ease, but decided to go ahead with a smaller ceremony than planned.

“I think we both thought let’s just do this. Let’s have a special day,” he said.

Terminally ill man says UK’s assisted dying ban ‘really unfair’

Assisted dying is legal in clinics in Switzerland. People with terminal illnesses travel from all over the world to the country’s Dignitas clinics.

However, travel restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic have made it even harder for people to access.

The couple have shared their story to raise awareness of the heartbreaking reality terminally ill patients face when seeking an assisted death.

Alain is paying £25,000 ($44,700) for a private jet to take him to Switzerland. However he has to leave sooner than he wanted to stay fit enough to travel.

He said he hopes all people in the UK in situations like his won’t have to face such difficulties.

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“I think as it is at the moment it is really unfair,” he said.

“As long as the law has all the safeguards in place that are needed, I really think it should not only be available if you have a significant amount of money.

“I really don’t want to have to take my own life in an unpleasant way.”

Despite treatment, Alain’s brain cancer is incurable

Alain previously had two operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy in a bid to ward off the cancer but it’s incurable.

He also wanted to join a medical trial for the disease but researchers sadly delayed it due to the pandemic.

“Unfortunately even that’s not available to me at the moment. So the options are really not great,” he said.

He added, “I am not depressed. I have been very lucky in many respects and I have the most lovely boyfriend and family.

“I just simply don’t want to go through potentially really unpleasant side effects and my husband and my family having to watch that.”

If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, Lifeline on 13 11 14, Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800, or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

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