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Debbie Purdy 'stopped eating' in final days of life

Right-to-die campaigner Debbie Purdy had stopped eating in the final days of her life in order to hasten her death, the head of campaign group Dignity in Dying revealed.

Paying tribute to her "valued campaigner and friend", Sarah Wootton said:

Debbie wanted choice and control over her death should she consider her suffering unbearable. Ultimately she was seeking peace of mind that her wishes would be respected, but also crucially that her decisions would not result in the potential imprisonment of her husband.

She rejected the option of travelling abroad to die, and instead, wanting to die in this country, chose to hasten her death by stopping eating.

Debbie rallied against the hypocrisy of the current law, which turns a blind eye to people travelling abroad to die, whilst seeking to protect them by threatening the imprisonment of their loved ones after their death. For over a decade Debbie was a huge presence at Dignity in Dying; from stuffing envelopes to leading her legal challenge, she was an integral part of the campaign and a friend. We will miss her greatly.

– Sarah Wootton


Debbie Purdy's husband thanks hospice for dignified care

Omar Puente, the husband of right-to-die campaigner Debbie Purdie, said her last year was "peaceful and dignified".

MS sufferer Debbie Purdy and her husband Omar Puente at her landmark High Court case. Credit: Press Association.

Thanking the staff at the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford where she died before Christmas, he told the BBC:

We would like to thank the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford for the care the staff gave her, which allowed her last year to be as peaceful and dignified as she wished.

– Omar Puente

Purdy's legal victory led to new guidelines on assisted suicide being issued by Keir Starmer QC, the then director of public prosecutions, in 2009.

He said the motives of those assisting suicide would be at the centre of the decision over whether they should be prosecuted.

In 2010 she told an inquiry on assisted dying that if she had not won the backing of the Law Lords she would have gone to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to end her own life as her condition was deteriorating.

She had argued that it would be a breach of her human rights if she did not know whether her husband would be prosecuted if he travelled with her to the Swiss clinic.

Debbie Purdy died before Christmas in hospice

MS sufferer Debbie Purdy outside the House of Lord with husband Omar Puente in 2009. Credit: Press Association.

Multiple sclerosis sufferer and right-to-die campaigner Debbie Purdy died in a Marie Curie hospice in Bradford.

She had been saying in the hospice before the past year, and died before Christmas, a Marie Curie spokesman said.

Bradford deaths: Mother and daughters stabbed in beds

Nisha Lad and her older sister Trisha were killed in their beds. Credit: Family handout/PA Wire

Police investigating the death of a family-of-four in Bradford say 44-year-old Daksha Lad and her teenage daughters Trisha and Nisha, were all stabbed to death in their beds.

A post mortem examination performed on 49-year-old Jitendra Lad confirmed that he died from compression of the neck caused by hanging.

Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson said: "I have spoken to the family members this evening and updated them on the results of the post mortem examinations.

"They are continuing to come to terms with what took place at Blackberry Way, which has robbed a family of two generations, and specially trained officers are supporting them at this very difficult time."


School 'deeply shocked and saddened by deaths'

The school where Trisha and Nisha Lad attended has said they are "deeply shocked and saddened" by the deaths of the teenagers.

Trisha Lad, 19, attended Thornton Grammar School in Bradford before going on to the University of Leeds. Her 17-year-old sister Nisha is believed to have still attended the school.

Chris Sampson, headteacher of Thornton Grammar, said: "We are deeply shocked and saddened by these tragic deaths.

"Our thoughts are with the family's relatives and friends. We will be helping the police with their inquiry in any way we can."

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Trisha Lad was Leeds biochemistry student

The University of Leeds confirmed Trisha was in the second year of a biochemistry degree.

A spokesman said: "This is dreadful and shocking news and our thoughts are with Trisha's friends and loved ones.

"Staff are working with the University's counselling and chaplaincy services to help students who are affected by this tragedy and we will do all we can to support them."

Melissa Taylor, president of the Faculty of Biological Sciences Society at the university, said on Twitter: "Heartbreaking to hear about the death of Trisha Lad, such a lovely, well-liked person. Rest in Peace."

Steph Mapplebeck said: "Trisha Lad was one of the sweetest and kindest people I have met whilst studying at Leeds. What a heartbreaking loss. Rest in peace."

Family and neighbours pay tribute to family

Friends and neighbours have paid tribute to the Lad family who were found dead in their home in Bradford.

Jessica Garside, a school friend of Trisha, said the 19-year-old had been studying at the University of Leeds after attending Thornton Grammar School in Bradford.

Miss Garside said: "She was so lovely. She always had a bright smile on her face. She was always happy."

Neighbour Barry Hawkins said: "I used to say hello to the mum and dad and I used to see the daughter go to school. I've seen them grow up.

"They were a lovely couple and the kids were lovely. Well mannered. They were well respected.

"I've know them for 10 years. It's bad but it'll pull us all together."

Council colleagues 'very upset' at Bradford deaths

Jatindra and Duksha Lad. Credit: ITV News

Colleagues who worked with Jatindra and Duksha Lad at Bradford council are "very upset" at news of their death, the leader of the local authority has said.

Councillor David Green said: "Local people are shocked and saddened by the news of this terrible event and our sympathy goes out to the wider family, friends and neighbours of this family.

"The husband and wife of the family... both worked for Bradford Council and councillors and employees are very upset after hearing the dreadful news of their deaths."

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