Downton Abbey star wishes she could have helped her mother die

She made her name as Miss Moneypenny in Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films and then in the hit TV show Downton

She made her name as Miss Moneypenny in Pierce Brosnan’s Bond films and then in the hit TV show Downton Abbey, now actress Samantha Bond has come out and spoken about her mother’s death in 2000.

Samantha’s mother died after a brief yet harrowing battle with bowel cancer, something that the actress says she wishes she could have done more to help with.

Her mother’s illness inspired her to support the assisted dying campaign, saying doesn’t understand why it’s not legal already.

She told the Daily Mail that towards the end she wanted to be able to help her mother escape her pain and the disease with dignity.

The Downton Abbey star is an avid supporter of the assisted dying campaign.
The Downton Abbey star is an avid supporter of the assisted dying campaign.

“At that point I would have liked to be able to give her peace and lack of pain.

“If I could’ve said, ‘Would you like an injection and we’ll all be here?’ She’d have said, ‘Yes, please.’ I don’t understand that I can give that to my cat, but not my mum. It’s the ultimate cruelty.”

It’s an issue that has caused debate for a long time now, with some arguing that everyone should have the right to end their life when they choose.

The concept has faced significant backlash though from those who say there is too big of a risk that it could be abused and misused.

While the pro-assisted dying argue that people have a basic human right to choose how they live and die, those on the other side of the table say assisted dying devalues the sanctity of human life.

The practice is currently legal in a select few countries around the world, including Switzerland, Germany, Japan, Albania, Canada, and some states in the US.

What’s your opinion on this issue?

Do you think assisted dying should be legal? Or, is it too dangerous to legalise?

If you or anyone you know needs to talk, call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit

  1. Irene  

    I agree in some serious illness cases a person would want to get out of pain and this world save dignity by assisted euthanasia and ensure its safety as the non precise methods of suicide at home could lead to a botched outcome and even further exacerbation on an already vulnerable person.

  2. Speaking for myself, if the pain was unbearable and it was a terminal illness I would certainly want assisted dying. I would also be in favour of it for those close to me who asked for it.

  3. Beryl Lane  

    Having sat with an elderly aunt and my 70 year old mother both in pain at the end of their life and hearing both pleading “please help me” and knowing legally I could do nothing, I certainly believe in assistance to end ones life if the pain is unbearable and a lingering death inevitable. I assume the dogooders who refuse to legalise this have never sat with someone they love who is dying and in unbearable pain. If we treated a pet animal this way we would be prosecuted but the law has a different rule for mankind.

  4. Sylvia Nayler  

    While I agree in principle that the argument sounds rational for assisted death for those who are suffering severe pain and appear to be close to death…my argument against this is based on the scenario that I currently find myself in. My sister (aged 69) has a particularly aggressive tumour, that is eating her face away. She is currently having very strong doses of morphine administered through an in-line system, and yesterday begged for the dose to be increased. She wasn’t eating or drinking, and was showing signs of severe depression.
    On speaking at depth with her, I realised that she was lonely, frightened and felt unloved due to her disfigurement. I asked could I come to stay with her for a few days, and her immediate response was one of happiness. Today she is coping much better, and both the doctor and nurse have commented how much better she is. Yesterday she would have accepted eauthanasia.

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