Groom with terminal brain cancer ties the knot before flying to Switzerland for assisted death
A gay man with terminal cancer is planning an assisted death in Switzerland after he married the love of his life on Valentine’s Day.
Alain du Chemin, 50, married Paul Gazzard, 48, in a romantic ceremony on Sunday (14 February), surrounded by a small number of their closest family and friends.
The wedding was a joyous occasion, but a bittersweet one.
Alain was diagnosed with terminal glioblastoma in September 2019, an aggressive form of brain cancer.
“I’m not going to be around forever but I really want to leave Paul with some good memories,” Alain told The Mirror.
Alain, who recently returned to Jersey after having spent much of his working life in London, said he made the decision to fly to Switzerland because of the “undignified” symptoms that come with his form of cancer.
“Losing all your dignity is not something I want to go through,” he said.
Paul said they had been putting off getting married for years, but finally decided to go ahead as they wanted to tie the knot before Alain dies.
“I think we both thought let’s just do this. Let’s have a special day,” he said.
Assisted death has been made difficult by coronavirus pandemic.
The couple shared their heartbreaking story to raise awareness of the challenges facing terminally ill patients who opt for an assisted death.
The procedure is legal in Switzerland, with people travelling from all over the world so they can end their lives on their own terms.
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However, the coronavirus pandemic has significantly curtailed international travel, meaning getting to the Dignitas clinic in Pfaeffikon is not easy.
The result is that Alain must pay £25,000 for a private jet to take him to Switzerland.
“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,” he added.
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.”