What drives a mother to help her child die? For almost a year, Kay Gilderdale was the center of an Assisted Suicide trial after being charged with attempted murder over her part in the death of her daughter Lynn.
Kay Gilderdale could not understand why the morphine was not working. It had been several hours since her daughter Lynn has self-injected three large doses of morphine in the early hours of 3 December 2008 in an attempt to end her life. Ms. Gilderdale believed it should have been a fatal dose, but Lynn was still alive.
In Kay’s desperation, she turned to the internet and a euthanasia support group for information and counsel. “I wanted advice; I wanted to know why the morphine, why she didn’t die with the amount that she had,” she says of her actions. “I was really worried that she was suffering in some way because she hadn’t died – she was unconscious.”
For 17 years Kay cared for her daughter Lynn since she contracted chronic fatigue syndrome, better known as ME. Her daughter had been in constant pain since being diagnosed with a severe form of the neurological condition at the age of 14.
But it was Kay’s actions in the 30 hours between Lynn taking the morphine and dying that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) felt she had crossed the line – from assisted suicide to attempted murder. This included giving further medication, injecting Lynn with air and searching the internet for advice on overdoses.
In the documentary I Helped My Daughter Die, Kay Gilderdale talks exclusively to Jeremy Vine about the night she helped her sick daughter kill herself and explores whether the law could be changed with those on both sides of the debate.