Noel Conway, a terminally ill man who challenged the blanket ban on assisted dying in the UK, has died at his home in Shropshire, a charity has said.
Dignity In Dying say the 71-year-old died in Garmston after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease, an incurable and terminal illness, in 2014.
In a statement released by the charity, his wife Carol said he died on Wednesday (9th June) after making a decision to remove his ventilator, which he had become dependent on to breathe. He had the support of his family, his local hospice, and the breathing and ventilation team.
In a statement Noel requested to be released upon his death, he said:
Noel continued: "I suffer from MND and was diagnosed over six years ago knowing that at some stage I would reach a point when my muscles would have deteriorated to such an extent that I could not function effectively.
"Over the past two months it has become increasingly evident to me that the balance of fulfilment in life, or if you like, my quality of life, has dipped into the negative… My voice has depleted to the extent that many people cannot now tell what I say and my eyesight recently deteriorated… I’m already a paraplegic and I cannot use my hands or fingers but I am aware that my neck muscles are weakening as are my mouth and speech muscles. I recognise that the time has come to take the decision now to do something about this.
“Under UK law it is perfectly legitimate to remove a ventilator from someone like me… This is not something I would have chosen but I feel that I have no alternative to ending my life without pain and suffering and without compromising others… However, my heart goes out to all those people who are terminally ill with cancers and other horrible diseases which make their lives execrable because they can’t find any release from their terrible suffering.