In the summer of 2016, Michel Petillo met Claire C. a then 33-year-old wheelchair-bound woman, suffering from debilitating pains in her right foot, epilepsy and spastic quadriplegia due to brain damage. Since childhood, her life has been about life-threatening accidents, invasive operations and morphine-based painkillers. Since the pains began in 2012, she has been seeking an effective treatment. 2012 is also the year she started to consider active euthanasia. In 2017, one physician cleared the way for a spinal neurostimulator implant as a final resort for pain relief. Initially successful, the pains resurfaced soon after. Consequently, Claire has renewed her request for active euthanasia.
This body of work is in full collaboration with Claire. To give her a voice and contribute to the discussion on euthanasia and living with pain. It has become clear that her wish for euthanasia is a conscious decision and a deeply human journey where the dichotomy of right and wrong must make way for compassion and hope. In her words, this entire journey is “an act of liberation”. We are in the process of creating a book and are currently looking for publishers.