Mom Who Admitted Killing Terminally Ill Son, Has Passed Away

Antonya Cooper, a mother who recently confessed to ending the life of her terminally ill 7-year old son, Hamish, in 1981 has passed away. Cooper gave her son “a large dose of morphine.” 

Cooper passed away over the weekend after a battle with terminal breast, pancreatic, and liver cancer. She died at peace surrounded by family at her home in Abingdon, Oxfordshire in England. She was 77.

Recently, Cooper spoke to BBC Radio Oxford about her desire to make a difference by advocating to change the U.K. law on assisted suicide. She admitted that she gave Hamish too much morphine which caused his death in 1981.

During the interview, she said she was also “dying too.” 

After the interview, police opened up an investigation. Assisted suicide is illegal in the United Kingdom.

A few days later, on July 8, Antonya’s daughter Tabitha reported to the BBC that her mother had passed away.

Hamish had neuroblastoma. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “neuroblastoma is a rare cancer that develops in nerve tissue. It usually affects kids under age 5. Symptoms include fatigue, decreased appetite and a lump in the chest, neck or belly. Treatment can include chemotherapy, surgery and radiation. The outlook varies depending on the stage of the disease, the child’s age and the risk category. Every year in the United States, about 800 children are diagnosed with neuroblastoma.”

 When Hamish was first diagnosed, it was estimated he had three months to live. He ended up receiving 16 months of cancer treatment at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital. The treatment was very painful. 


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Per the BBC interview Cooper said, “On Hamish’s last night, when he said he was in a lot of pain, I said, ‘Would you like me to remove the pain?’ and he said, ‘Yes please, mama.’ “

“Through his Hickman Catheter, I gave him a large dose of morphine that did quietly end his life,” 

“If they come 43 years after I have allowed Hamish to die peacefully, then I would have to face the consequences. But they would have to be quick, because I’m dying too.”

Antonya continued, “It was the right thing to do. My son was facing the most horrendous suffering and intense pain, I was not going to allow him to go through that.”

After Hamish passed away, Mrs Cooper and “a group of bereaved parents came together and formed The Neuroblastoma Society.  Following the loss of their sons, Matthew Oldridge and Hamish Cooper, they wanted to help other children and families experiencing neuroblastoma. “ The Neuroblastoma Society was founded in 1982.