Tributes have been paid to a “inimitable” advocate who fought the ban on assisted suicide.
Noel Conway, a terminally ill campaigner who brought a court challenge to the UK’s assisted dying ban, died at the age of 71.
Mr Conway died on Wednesday at his home in Garmston, Shropshire, after making the decision to withdraw his ventilator with the help of his family and a local hospice, according to campaign group Dignity in Dying.
Mr Conway, who had motor neurone illness, said in a statement that he had asked Dignity in Dying to release after his death: “When you read this, I will be dead.” Not because I was involved in a horrific accident or died as a result of a long-term or painful illness.
“No, it will be because I made a determined and determined effort to take my own life. I have MND and was diagnosed more than six years ago, knowing that at some point my muscles would weaken to the point where I would be unable to operate efficiently.
“Over the past two months, it has been increasingly apparent to me that the balance of my life’s fulfillment, or, to put it another way, my quality of life, has sunk into the negative… My voice has weakened to the point where many people are unable to understand what I am saying, and my eyesight has suddenly deteriorated.
“I’m already paralyzed and can’t use my hands or fingers, but I’m aware that my neck muscles, as well as my mouth and speaking muscles, are diminishing. I understand that now is the moment to make a decision to do something about it.”
Mr. Conway, who called for legislators to amend the legislation on assisted dying after his legal battle to die “peacefully and with dignity” was dismissed by the UK Supreme Court in 2018, said in his most recent statement that it was “absolutely lawful to remove a ventilator from someone like me.”
“This is not something I would have chosen, but I feel I have no other option for terminating my life without causing grief and suffering to others,” he continued.
“However, my heart is on the move. (This is a brief piece.)