Dignitas member kills herself after importing lethal drug from Mexico


A woman who was a member of the Dignitas organisation in Switzerland took her own life – just two days after getting married.

Staffordshire Police launched an investigation into the death of Sara Cliff after some of her relatives suggested her new husband may have been aware of her intentions. The police investigation found no such evidence.

It also emerged that officers had visited the 50-year-old’s Bradeley home just 17 days before her death after suspicions had been raised about a ‘restricted substance’ she had imported from Mexico.

Instead businesswoman Sara showed them a necklace which she said had been delivered from Mexico and the officers were unable to investigate further.

But the package actually contained a drug which Sara used to take an overdose at her Stratheden Road home on November 1, 2019.


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The inquest heard Sara had a medical condition which had a huge impact on her mental and physical health and disrupted her sleep.

In a statement, her husband said: “She felt like the inside of her face was creeping and her eyes were burning out of her sockets.”

The inquest heard Sara had tried many treatments both privately and on the NHS for her physical and mental health issues. She later turned to alternative medicine and talked about going to Dignitas which assists people in dying.

Sara’s body was discovered by her husband. She was pronounced dead by paramedics. Firefighters also attended the scene.

He added: “As soon as I entered the bedroom I could see she didn’t look right.”



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The inquest heard Sara had planned her death. She had “set her affairs in order”.

Delivering a suicide verdict, North Staffordshire senior coroner Andrew Barkley said: “There was no evidence to suggest that Mr Cliff was involved in the death.

“This was entirely consistent with previous actions that she had taken in the past.

“I am satisfied that the legal test for this court is met, that she died by deliberate act.”

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Need help?

The Samaritans : 116 123. Website: www.samaritans.org . Email: jo@samaritans.org

Offer a 24-hour confidential helpline. You can also contact them by text or email.

Men Unite: A local group addressing the rising problem of suicide among men. If you would like to join the Men Unite Facebook group click here.

NHS 111 Service : 111. Website: www.nhs.uk .

Call the NHS 111 service if you urgently require medical help or advice. The service is availabe 24-hours-a-day, 365-days-a-year. Calls are free from landlines and mobile phones.

Mental Health Access Team : 0300 123 0907

The single point of contact and access for all North Staffordshire Combined Healthcare NHS Trust services. The Access Team provides 24/7 cover for all mental health and learning disability services across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire.

Mind Infoline : 0300 123 3393. Website: www.mind.org.uk . Email: info@mind.org.uk. Text: 86463

Information on a range of mental health problems and support. Lines are open 9am to 6pm, Monday to Friday (except for bank holidays).

HOPELineUK : 0800 068 41 41

A specialist telephone service staffed by trained professionals at PAPYRUS who give non-judgemental support, practical advice and information to children, teenagers, young adults aged up to 35 and anyone concerned about a young person. Opening hours are 10am to 10pm, Mondays to Fridays, 2pm to 5pm, weekends and bank holidays.

NSPCC Childline : 0800 1111. Website: www.childline.org.uk

Children’s charity offering support and carrying out research into mental illness.

SANE : 0845 767 8000. Website: www.sane.org.uk . Email: sanemail@sane.org.uk

Out-of-hours mental health helpline offering specialist emotional support and information to anyone affected by mental illness, including family, friends and carers. Open every day from 6pm to 11pm.

Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline : 0808 800 2234. Email: staffordshire.helpline@brighter-futures.org.uk. Text: 07860 022821.





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