Sir Patrick Stewart, an award-winning actor, has succeeded on both the stage and the big screen. He is most recognized for his roles in Star Trek as Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the X-Men.
Off-screen, the 81-year-old celebrity has spoken out about the likelihood of dying and his desire to be granted permission for an assisted death if the time comes.
After being diagnosed with a heart condition, the actor, who has been nominated for practically every major award for his work, including an Emmy, Tony, and Golden Globe, became preoccupied with mortality.
Stewart’s diagnosis and the “horrific” death of a close female friend motivated him to endorse the Dignity in Dying campaign, which seeks to legalize assisted suicide in the United Kingdom. When asked about his unexpected heart problem diagnosis, the celebrity stated that he was rushed to the hospital for a life-saving operation.
Stewart appeared on This Morning a few years ago and claimed, “I was diagnosed quite abruptly during my annual exam by my cardiologist, who asked, “What are you doing this afternoon?” “I’m going to lunch,” I explained. “I’d rather you didn’t,” he added.
“I was on a bed in five minutes, giving information about my next of kin, so it was extremely dramatic.”
“I didn’t have time to think about it, but I knew that whatever occurred, I was in the best hands I could have been in and would be taken care of.”
However, it served as a wake-up call that Patrick is not immune.
During emergency surgery, the 85 percent blockage in Stewart’s heart was removed, and a stent tube was implanted to keep the region open and avoid clogging.
Following treatment, the celebrity patient was expected to return to the doctor twice a year for a range of tests, including an angiogram, an X-ray that allows medical specialists to see the blood veins in the heart.
Stewart told the Sunday Times that, while these twice-yearly doctor visits are “always terrible,” they have helped him decide how he wants to die.
“When someone is terminally ill, there should be a road they can take. It seems like a reasonable line of action to me.”
According to studies, more than 84% of adults in the United Kingdom support doctor-assisted suicide.
Stewart’s diagnosis of a heart or circulatory disease, which influenced his decisions and ideas regarding assisted suicide, is common; around 7.6 million people in the UK have one of these diseases.
Furthermore, heart and circulation disorders account for more than 160,000 deaths in the UK each year, accounting for 25% of all fatalities.
Heart disease refers to a group of ailments that affect the heart, including blood vessel disease, heart valve disease, and heart infection.
The disorder is caused by a blockage or interruption of blood flow to the heart caused by a buildup of fatty substances in the coronary arteries.
Over time, your artery walls accumulate fatty deposits, causing them to “fur” up. The fatty deposits are referred to as atheroma, and the process is referred to as atherosclerosis.
Only a physician can diagnose cardiac disease following a battery of tests on the patient, including blood tests, CT scans, and MRI scans.
Heart disease cannot be cured after it has been recognized, although medicine can help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of complications such as heart attacks and strokes.
An angioplasty method, according to Stewart, is used to eliminate disease-caused blockages in the coronary arteries. It restores blood flow to the heart muscle without undergoing open heart surgery.
To avoid additional constriction or closure of the artery, a thin expandable metal mesh coil, or stent, is implanted in the newly opened region.
People should make considerable lifestyle changes both before and after surgery to limit the risk of artery re-clogging.
Changes such as regular exercise, stopping smoking, and limiting alcohol use can all help to reduce symptoms or avoid heart disease.
“Should the time come for me to pass away,” he said, “I would prefer to have a choice as to how I pass away.”