The devastated family of a man who took the heartbreaking decision to fly to Switzerland to end his own life has today thanked well-wishers for their “outpouring of support”.
Former advertising boss and father-of-three Jeffrey Spector, who had suffered from a spinal tumour for six years, flew to the Dignitas clinic last week.
On Friday, the 54-year-old, who feared his condition would leave him paralysed, swallowed a lethal dose of poison at the euthanasia centre to end his life.
Speaking to The Gazette the day before his final trip to the clinic, he told how he wanted “what is best for his family, not for himself.”
And today, in a statement, his family – wife Elaine and three daughters – praised his “selfless and brave decision”.
It said: “At this time our family is united in grief and beginning to come to terms with the events of the last few days.
“There has been intense coverage and speculation in the media over the last 24 hours and as a result, a real outpouring of support has been shown to the family.
“This support has overwhelmed Elaine, her daughters and their entire family and friends.
“We want to say thank you for the kind words received and the positive messages of support for Jeffrey’s selfless and brave decision.
“We are prouder than ever today of our wonderful husband, father, brother and friend.”
A further statement from the family added: “Jeffrey was particularly clear that he did not want to live a life in which he was paralysed and reliant on his family to care for him.
“Earlier this year, Jeffrey’s condition deteriorated to such an extent that he believed he would soon be permanently and completely paralysed.
“While this was, of course, a difficult and painful time, as a family we supported and respected Jeffrey’s decision 100 per cent. While we are now in a state of all-consuming grief and miss Jeffrey very much, we also recognise that he is now at peace.”
In his final interview with The Gazette, Mr Spector told how he woke with a stiff back and neck one day in 2008 – and a scan revealed he had a tumour.
He said it had gradually been beginning to affect his nervous system. He took the decision to end his own life earlier this year.
He told of how he believed the UK laws on assisted suicide must change and how he wanted control over the final stages of his life.
He said: “You don’t just wake up and think, ‘I’ll do it’.
“It has to be a collection of consistent thoughts, without peer pressure.”
He added: “I want my family to have a good life. I want them to move forward.
“A man wants the best for his family, not for himself.
“I want my kids to enjoy their lives. If they cared for me and I got better, fine.
“But I won’t. I know it sounds stupid, but it is the knowing there is an end to it.
“I have considered the implications for my family.
“It is a selfish unselfish decision.”