A terminally-ill motor neurone disease sufferer has been refused permission for a challenge over the law on assisted dying at the UK's highest court.

Supreme Court justices rejected a bid by Noel Conway to appeal against anearlier ruling in his fight over current legislation which prevents him frombeing helped to die.

The 68-year-old, from Shrewsbury, says that being forced to choose between "unacceptable options" to end his life is "barbaric".

He wants medical assistance to die when he has less than six months left to live, still has the mental capacity to make the decision and has made a"voluntary, clear, settled and informed" choice.

Noel Conway, who's 68, has been refused permission for a challenge over the law on assisted dying at the Supreme Court. Credit: PA

Mr Conway lost a Court of Appeal challenge in June against an earlier HighCourt rejection of his case that the "blanket ban" on assisted dying was anunjustified interference with his human rights.

He sought to challenge that at the Supreme Court and justices took the unusual step of considering his case at a hearing last week.

During that hearing, Mr Conway's lawyers told the court the retired lecturerdoes not accept that withdrawal of his "non-invasive ventilation" (NIV), which he needs 23 hours a day, would be an acceptable way for him to end his life.

But Lady Hale, Lord Reed and Lord Kerr declined permission for an appeal.

Giving reasons for their decision in a joint statement, they said:

"No-one doubts that the issue is of transcendent public importance.

Supreme Court Justices

Mr Conway, who is supported by the campaign group Dignity In Dying, was too unwell to travel to London for the Supreme Court hearing.

He is now dependent on a ventilator for up to 23 hours a day and only hasmovement in his right hand, head and neck.

In response to today's judgement, Mr Conway said:

“Today’s decision is extremely disappointing. It means that I will not be able to have my arguments heard by the highest court in the land. Dying people like me cannot wait years for another case to be heard.

Noel Conway
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