Terminally ill man with motor neurone disease wins right to fight assisted dying law
Retired college lecturer Noel Conway went to the Court of Appeal after he was refused permission to bring a judicial review over the law on assisted dying.
Mr Conway, 67, from Shrewsbury, was diagnosed with the disease in November 2014 and is not expected to live beyond 12 months.
His lawyers say that when he has less than six months to live and retains the mental capacity to make the decision, “he would wish to be able to enlist assistance to bring about a peaceful and dignified death”.
Mr Conway was a keen skier and climber before being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
I know I am going to die anyway, but how and when should be up to me
He wants a declaration that the Suicide Act 1961 is incompatible with Article 8, which relates to respect for private and family life, and Article 14, which protects from discrimination.
Today in London, Lord Justice McFarlane and Lord Justice Beatson sent the case back to the High Court to determine.
Mr Conway, who is supported by Dignity in Dying, said: “I am delighted that my case will now proceed to the next stage.
“Clearly the Court of Appeal has agreed that this is an issue deserving full and proper consideration and I look forward to a full hearing at the High Court.
Noel suffers from a form of motor neurone disease and is not expected to live for another year
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“Having overcome this initial setback in my fight for choice at the end of life, I am more determined than ever to continue.
“I have the support of my loved ones and many thousands of others behind me; people who have donated over £90,000 towards my legal costs and sent heart-warming messages of encouragement to me and my family.
“I have lived my whole life on my own terms, in control of the choices and decisions I make.
“Why then, when I am facing my final months, should these rights be stripped away from me, leaving me at the mercy of a cruel illness?
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“I know I am going to die anyway, but how and when should be up to me.
“To have the option of an assisted death available in this country would provide me and countless others with great reassurance and comfort.
“It would allow me to decide when I am ready to go, rather than be forced into a premature death by travelling to Dignitas at great emotional and financial cost, or to suffer a traumatic, drawn out death at home.“
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116 123 or visit a local branch or www.samaritans.org