physician holding hands with someone laying down. Death concept. assisted dying concept
Sean Cate
Sean Cate
May 30, 2024 ·  3 min read

Son’s Tragic Last Words to His Mother Before Secretly Traveling to a Swiss Clinic to End His Life

In a heartbreaking tale of assisted dying, Alastair Hamilton, a 47-year-old chemistry teacher, went on a secret trip to Switzerland to end his life at the Pegasos clinic. The narrative is given with sad details from Hamilton’s family and offers a glimpse into the emotional turmoil surrounding his decision and the aftermath it caused. 

Alastair Hamilton. Image Credit: Judith Hamilton

More Than Meets The Eye

Credit: ITV News

Hamilton’s family knew he was going on a trip, but they weren’t told the truth about why. Under the guise of visiting a friend in Paris, he was actually on his way to end his life via assisted dying. Judith Hamilton, Alastair’s mother, relives her final moments with her son with pain. As he bid her farewell at Gatwick Airport, his words carry so much more weight now. “Love you, mum, love you lots, always have, always will. No matter what,” a sentiment etched in her memory forever.1

After discovering Hamilton’s true intentions, it plunged his family into despair and disbelief. It was more so the discovery that he had paid over £10,000 to the Pegasos clinic for an assisted death that left them grappling with different emotions. Judith’s anguish was palpable as she visited the site where her son died, her tears mirroring the depth of her sorrow.

Read More: Young, Physically Health Woman Decided to be Euthanized Despite Fear of Dying

For An Assisted Dying Clinic, They Don’t Handle Death Well

Image Credit: Judith Hamilton

The family’s hurt was only made worse by the clinic’s callous secrecy regarding Hamilton’s death. Despite the family’s desperate attempts to get any information about his passing, Pegasos remained tight-lipped. The 2-month delay in receiving Hamilton’s ashes and receiving none of the promised goodbye letters written only made matters worse.

Alastair’s brother, Toby, expressed profound frustration at the clinic’s lack of empathy and transparency given the situation. His pleas for any kind of acknowledgment and closure underscored a longing many other families must have also felt- seeking solace from the grief of a passed loved one. Yet Pegasos remained unfazed.

Part of A Larger Conversation

Questions now loom over the ethical implications of assisted dying. Hamilton’s case is an addition to a long line of complex interplays between personal autonomy, familial bonds, and societal norms. The absence of terminal illness as a prerequisite for assisted dying at Pegasos does raise some ethical questions and challenges existing paradigms, and ignites debate.

As the Hamilton family navigates their raw grief and still unanswered questions, their ordeal should serve as a reminder to us all. All dying, including assisted dying, has an effect on individuals and their loved ones. The quest for closure underscores a need for compassion, transparency, and open dialogue in navigating end-of-life decisions.

The Hamilton family’s advocacy for greater transparency and accountability in assisted dying practices calls for legislative reform and ethical guidelines. As the debate surrounding assisted dying continues to evolve, the Hamilton family’s legacy looks to endure as a catalyst for action and change. Their journey highlights the importance of amplifying the voices of those affected by assisted dying policies, fostering dialogue, and driving meaningful change.

Read More: Autistic Dutch Woman, 28, Dies at Home By Assisted Suicide After Sharing Final Post


  1. Son’s tragic final words to mum before secretly travelling to clinic to end his life.” Lad Bible. Joe Harker. May 16, 2024.
  2. Heartbreaking moment mother visits Swiss clinic where son ended his life in secret: Teacher, 47, with no diagnosed illness took lethal drugs dose in unassuming office block – as clinic apologises for allowing him to die without telling his family.” Daily Mail. Chris Matthews. May 16, 2024.