Euthanasia is the practice of intentionally ending life to eliminate pain and suffering of those who are typically terminally ill or in an irrversible coma.
It is currently illegal in the UK, but different countries have different laws around it.
As of 2023, euthanasia is legal in Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal (awaiting regulation), Spain and Australia.
The controversial subject came up because Voderman’s brother lives in Holland where euthanasia is legal and he had told her about a terminally ill friend who had decided to go down that route.
“My brother’s lived in Holland for a long time, and he said to me last year, ‘oh, I’m over in Amsterdam on Tuesday […] because we’re going to Dave’s funeral’. Now, Dave was his friend who’d worked at Shell all around the world. [Dave] was an engineer and [my brother] said ‘we’re having a party’, she explained to Burke.
“[I said,] ‘What?’ He said, ‘So we’re all gathering, all these people we’re going to have a party with Dave’. I said, ‘what do you mean?’ [And] Euthanasia is allowed [in Holland], right? And [Dave] had terminal cancer and had decided that [he wanted Euthanasia]. So, they had the party [and] the next day, Dave died.
“The same people then went [to the funeral]. I thought, ‘how dignified and wonderful that was’.”
Burke agreed that it sounded a more dignified way to go, with Vorderman then admitting that she would consider it herself if in a silmilar position, especially having withnessed the death of her beloved mum Jean in 2017 after her fourth battle with cancer.
“It really made me think a lot about [how] I would want similar, to be perfectly honest,” she said. “You know, not joking about it, having seen my mum’s last breath... I just thought that was very dignified.”
Burke suggested “I think it’s something we need to look into more and more, in this country.”
“It’s not allowed here,” confirmed Voderman.
“It’s not allowed,” echoed Burke, “And I sort of understand the reasons as well, why people are so nervous of it. You know, but it should be brought up again and again.”
“I do. I think it is something that should be discussed,” concluded Vorderman.
Where There’s A Will There’s A Wake is available to listen to on all podcast platforms.