Tina Turner considered assisted suicide in the years before her death.
The legendary musician died at the age of 83 after a ‘long illness,’ her publicist confirmed this week, leading to an outpouring of love and grief from fans around the world.
Turner, originally from Tennessee in the United States, died at her adopted home in Switzerland, near the capital of Zurich, and on Thursday night flowers began appearing at the gates to the residence.
The Simply The Best icon had suffered from years of health issues, and had considered assisted suicide – legal in her adopted home of Switzerland – in 2016, after being diagnosed with intestinal cancer.
She revealed in her memoir Tina Turner: My Love Story that by the end of that year, her ‘kidneys were at a new low of 20 per cent and plunging rapidly.’
‘And I faced two choices: either regular dialysis or a kidney transplant.’
She said it ‘wasn’t my idea of life … I couldn’t eat. I was surviving, but not living.’
‘I began to think about death. If my kidneys were going, and it was time for me to die, I could accept that. It was OK. When it’s time, it’s really time.’
She insisted she didn’t mind the idea of dying but feared ‘how I would go,’ and began thinking about assisted suicide, even joining an organisation which facilitate it if she decided that was the route she would go.
Her husband, music producer Erwin Bach, offered instead to donate one of his kidneys to her, with Tina recalling she was ‘overwhelmed at the enormity of his offer’ and initially tried to talk him out of ‘taking such a serious and irreversible step.’
However he did donate his kidney to his wife in 2017, saving her life and allowing her to live for another six years.
Assisted suicide in Switzerland
Switzerland has allowed assisted suicide since 1942
Euthanasia however is illegal, and the person dying must perform the action which leads to death themselves.
Non-Swiss residents are allowed to come to Switzerland to end their lives through the official channels
A 2011 referendum on banning assisted suicide for non-Swiss residents was roundly rejected, with 85% of the canton of Zurich voting for it to remain open to anyone
She died at her home in Switzerland of natural causes, it was reported on Thursday.
Turner had been vocal about kidney health after her own health scare, and just weeks before her death took to social media to issue a warning to others to take care of their body.
She wrote: ‘My kidneys are victims of my not realising that my high blood pressure should have been treated with conventional medicine. I have put myself in great danger by refusing to face the reality that I need daily, lifelong therapy with medication. For far too long I believed that my body was an untouchable and indestructible bastion.’
Turner added that she was supporting international campaign Show Your Kidneys Love, and pleaded with fans to ‘keep these important organs healthy.’
The Queen of Rock’n Roll’s death was announced on Wednesday evening by her publicist, who said she had died ‘peacefully’ and that the world had lost ‘a music legend and a role model.’
Turner had faced hardship in her life despite her glittering career, and in the last years of her life suffered incredible heartbreak: she lost her eldest son, Craig – who she shared with Raymond Hill – to suicide in 2018.
And last December, her youngest son, Ronnie, died at the age of 62, following a medical emergency in LA.
However the star has always been determined to focus on the future, having recently told Metro.co.uk she believes ‘very firmly about not looking back.’
‘I can’t change my past. I can only forgive and look forward,’ she said.