Intended for healthcare professionals


Anne Turner

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 02 February 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:306

British family planning doctor whose assisted suicide in a Swiss clinic refuelled UK euthanasia debate

Anne Turner's final trip to continental Europe was one she resented having to make. She loved travelling to Europe, often for the opera. But having decided to kill herself, she felt frustrated at the need to leave the comfort of her cosy bungalow in Bath. However, with typical self assurance, Dr Turner made precise plans. She would die in Switzerland on 24 January 2006, the day before her 67th birthday.

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Events early in the childhood of the woman dubbed “Boadicea” by a friend can probably be credited for the independence and strength of character that she exhibited throughout her life. Just 18 months after her birth in Harrogate in 1939, she was evacuated, with her sister, from war torn Europe to Vancouver in Canada.

She only just made it. A German U boat sank the vessel behind the one in which she was travelling and such evacuations promptly ceased. But having safely reached North America, she enjoyed living with cousins and a grandmother.

In 1945 however, she returned to Westerham, Kent, …

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