Terminally Ill Noel Conway Can Fight Right-to-Die Law

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Noel Conway

A terminally ill man has won the right to bring a High Court challenge over the law on assisted dying.

Noel Conway, 67, has requested that the Court of Appeal overturn a decision that had occluded a judicial review over the ban on providing a person with assistance to die.

Noel Conway, 67, from Shrewsbury, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2014. He is not expected to live beyond 12 months.

He is now uses a wheelchair and ventilation equipment and needs help to dress and eat, and was not in court.

Noel Conway (front centre) has said he is not ‘prepared to suffer right to the end’. Credit: PA

Seeking a judicial review, if successful, it could result in terminally ill adults making their own decisions about ending their own lives, if they meet a strict criteria.

He wants a declaration that the Suicide Act 1961 is incompatible with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which concerns respect for private and family life, and Article 14, which protects from discrimination.

Noel Conway previously attended court with his wife Carol and stepson Terry McCusker. Credit: PA

His lawyer, Richard Gordon QC, previously said: “Mr Conway wishes to die in the country in which he was born and has lived for his whole adult life.

“The choices facing him therefore are stark: to seek to bring about his own death now whilst he is physically able to do but before he is ready; or await death with no control over when and how it comes.”

Noel Conway stressed that being forced to suffer with his terminal illness, something that had been forced upon him by the provisions of the criminal law, violated his human rights.

He also said the vast financial and emotional support he had received underlined public support his cause.

Before his illness Noel Conway was a keen skier, climber and cyclist. Image Credit: Noel Conway

“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,” he said.

The Court of Appeal’s Lord Justice McFarlane and Lord Justice Beatson granted permission and remitted Mr Conway’s case to the High Court to decide.

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About Benjamin David 34 Articles
Benjamin is a philosophy academic, a blogger and a campaigner

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