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A successful young lawyer in Wellington, Lecretia Seales met and fell in love with Matt Vickers in 2003. In Lecretia’s Choice, Matt tells the story of their life together, and how it changed when his proud, fiercely independent wife was diagnosed with a brain tumour and forced to confront her own mortality.
The death she faced—slow, painful, dependent—was completely at odds with how she had lived her life. Lecretia wanted to die with dignity, to be able to say goodbye well, and not to suffer unnecessarily—but the law denied her that choice. With her characteristic spirit, she decided to mount a challenge in New Zealand’s High Court, but as the battle raged, Lecretia’s strength faded. She died on 5 June 2015, at the age of forty-two, the day after her family learned that the court had ruled against her.
Lecretia’s Choice is not only a moving love story but compulsory reading for everyone who cares about the dignity we afford terminally ill people who want to die on their own terms.
‘A beautifully written story of courage, determination and a legal race against time.’
‘A poignant love story and a fiercely rational call for change.’
This is a brave, intimate book, both agonizing and uplifting, and unflinchingly honest.’
‘"The unwinding skein of her life was blowing free in the wind, and it tormented her.“ If the case for assisted dying could be won through emotional appeals, this sentence would surely clinch it…Vickers is an assured writer who knows the importance of letting the moment speak for itself.’
‘A tragic story, heart-breaking; so beautifully written…Lecretia’s Choice was an almost un-put-downable book. Every home should have a copy, for a reminder, if nothing more, of what it is to have heart, humility and hope.’
‘Matt Vickers asserts “stories are the most powerful force in the universe.” This is the story of his wife, Lecretia, and her extraordinary advocacy in the face of ordinary tragedy. It will help change the world.’
‘A very human story… Articulate, thought provoking, honest and poignant.’
‘This is as much the story of a relationship as it is of lawyer Lecretia Seales’ well-publicised effort to kick-start a law change to allow assisted dying, before she herself succumbed to cancer in June 2015…If anybody should have known how to make the most of the legal system, it was Seales. That this was not enough only makes her story as told here even sadder.’