A man in England who slit his terminally ill wife’s neck in an “act of love” writes that he would do it again if he had to end her suffering. Guardian. A man who got away with murder and was convicted of manslaughter now says the law should be changed to allow euthanasia.
Graham Mansfield, 73, was acquitted of murder this week. A jury found him guilty of manslaughter after finding the man and his wife, Diane, 71, had agreed to die together because the pain from terminal cancer had become too much.
He killed her and then tried to take her life, but 12 hours later she woke up and called the police. He begged doctors to let him die and admitted when he called 911 that he had killed his wife.
Although he could have received a life sentence, the judge pardoned him, suspending two years, saying that killing his wife was “an act of love, of compassion to end her suffering”.
Speaking from the living room of his home in Hale, Greater Manchester, on March 23, 2021, overlooking the garden where he killed his wife, Mansfield described it as a “horrific act”. Her suffering.
“If there was no alternative, I would do it again. When the judge was about to hand down the sentence, I looked up and thought, ‘Well, Diane, if I have to do it, I will.’ If I had to do it over again, if I knew the outcome, I will do it again and again.”
They wanted to go to Switzerland, where euthanasia is legal
But he said he should not have been forced to take such a “desperate” step and was in favor of a euthanasia law.
“I don’t have all the answers, but in the last stages, if someone has had a terminal illness in the last six months, and two independent doctors talk to this person who wants to die, they talk to their family. Their friends, and maybe the police come and investigate, and they all come to the same conclusion: The patient is alive, has no quality of life, and should be allowed to die.”
“For example, I would have liked Diane to lie on her bed and have someone else hold her hand (inject her). That would have been a more humane way to end things,” he added.
Graham finds it unfair that animals have a more dignified death than humans.
“We can’t let the dog go like that, it’s not fair, let’s euthanize,” people say. But you can’t do that with people.”
The couple wanted to travel to Switzerland, where euthanasia is legal, but could not because of the lockdown.
His attorney said the police treated him well and did not want to press charges.
“The case went all the way to the prosecutors, the state attorney’s office … we couldn’t believe what they told us that he was charged with murder,” said prosecutor Rachel Fletcher.
The police explained to Mansfield that one of the reasons was that he did not sign the two farewell tickets and that there was “no evidence that Dayen was involved” in the decision.
“I don’t want to put extra stress on him. I don’t want to say to him: “Are you signing this? Your consent to be killed. “If I were to make a guide on consent to suicide right now, I’d say put it on video,” the man said.
“He said, ‘Graham, it’s time.'”
The court heard from cancer expert Professor Carol Sikora that Diane would have lived between one and four weeks when she died.
It doesn’t change anything, Mansfield said.
It’s easy for us to say, “Oh, it’s only been a few weeks,” but if you’ve got a stuffy throat and can’t eat, you know what that feels like. He said to me a week ago: “Graham, it’s time”.
In October 2020, he described how they made a suicide pact when Diane, who had been married for 41 years, was diagnosed with terminal cancer that had spread to her lungs and lymph nodes.
Because she spent most of her childhood in the hospital and had bladder cancer in 1999, Diane chose not to spend her final days in the hospital, Graham said.
Her condition deteriorated rapidly after diagnosis, with the cancer spreading to her throat and preventing her from swallowing.
“I begged her to kill me when things were really bad. Those were the saddest words I’ve ever heard. I immediately thought, OK, Dayen, but I’m going to die with you. She told me: “But there’s no reason for you to die.” I said, “I can live without you. “No, Tian,” I said.
How did they choose the method?
In a statement to the court, Dion’s brother Peter Hickson said he was not angry at Graham – the two had spent Christmas together – but was “shocked” by the way Mansfield killed his sister.
“I agree it was shocking. But she was so frail. People said ‘why not kill her like this’, but we wanted a safer way,” Graham said.
He said they often talk about how they’re going to die and eliminate methods they consider too public or unsafe.
“Finally, I said, ‘Even though it’s terrible, the only thing I can think of quickly is to cut our throats like we saw on TV’.”
Graham described how they went together to the back of the garden, where it was secluded from the neighborhood, and placed two chairs side by side.
As she sat quietly, he slashed her throat twice with the knife – the second time after she told him “I didn’t die fast enough” – before he hugged her and told her he loved her.
After that he sat next to her and tried to do the same thing to her.
It never crossed his mind that in 15 months he would be in court charged with murder: “We wanted to kill ourselves and get it all over with.”
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