‘100 million people worldwide have access’ to assisted dying, says CEO of Dignity in Dying

‘100 million people worldwide have access’ to assisted dying, says CEO of Dignity in Dying

Noel Conway has been refused permission for an appeal over the law on assisted dying at the Supreme Court. Image: Aaron Chown/PA

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Sarah Wootton, the Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying has said that “100 million people worldwide” have access to assisted dying after a terminally-ill man has lost a legal battle over his right to die.

Noel Conway, 68, suffers from motor neurone disease and lost his challenge at the Court of Appeal in June after his case was rejected by the High Court.

Ms Wootton told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “If you can put safeguards around withdrawal of treatment, why can’t you put it in terms of requesting treatment? There is absolutely no reason why.

“If you look overseas, 100 million people worldwide have got access to this law now.

“It is in Australia, Canada, there are nine states in the US – it is the classic liberal progressive campaign.

“Religions are often against it and faith leaders are often against it, but the congregations are for it.”

 

'Barbaric' 

Mr Conway was too ill to attend the hearing in London but said it was “barbaric” that he must now choose between “unacceptable options” to end his life.

Helping someone kill themselves is a criminal offence carrying a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison, according to Section 2 of the 1961 Suicide Act.

Ms Wootton added that now attention must be on MPs to change the law.

“I think we have to focus our attention on MPs because we do have a majority in the House of Lords in support of our campaign.

“MPs are changing their minds but obviously they have got a lot on their minds at the moment, but clearly if the constituents are going to them and being clear about what they want then they are changing their minds.”