Looking at the picture of Noel Conway wearing a breathing mask like mine in today’s Guardian article “Terminally ill Noel Conway loses challenge to assisted dying ban“, I can’t help but feel a profound sense of relief. I acknowledge that acquiring a progressive neuromuscular disability later in life as Conway did is different than growing up with one as I did, but his claim of being “entombed” by his illness is more a reflection of his personal psychology than objective fact. And, let’s face it, he’s had more time to adapt to these physical changes than someone with a high spinal cord injury who faces a sudden and complete change with no gradual process.
According to the Guardian article, Conway seems to believe that his only option without assisted suicide is a difficult death by suffocation or traveling to Switzerland. I’m not sure where he got that suffocation idea, but it is not consistent with the standard of medical care. Hospice and palliative care professionals have been facilitating comfortable deaths when breathing support is removed for at least three decades.
Fortunately, Not Dead Yet UK has been active in the Conway case from its early stages, and intervened to provide evidence from a disability perspective in the proceedings resolved in this latest Court ruling. Below is NDY UK’s press release about this important legal victory. They have our deepest gratitude and respect.
Read more at Not Dead Yet…