‘Right to die’ campaigner has painless death aged 71

This Morning: Eamonn interrupts Ruth during euthanasia debate

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The retired lecturer and grandfather could only move his head, neck and right hand after being diagnosed with motor neurone disease six years ago. Mr Conway took his case for assisted dying to the Supreme Court but lost an appeal in 2018. He died at his home near Shrewsbury on Wednesday after deciding with his family to remove his ventilator.

His final words were released yesterday by campaign group Dignity in Dying, which supported his legal battle.

He wrote: “I have made a conscious and deliberate effort to end my own life. Over the past two months it has become increasingly evident to me that… my quality of life has dipped into the negative.”

He added: “This is not something I would have chosen.”

In court Mr Conway argued the law interfered with the right to respect for private life, under the European Convention on Human Rights.

He wanted a doctor to be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose when his health deteriorated. At present any doctor who does so risks 14 years in prison. After the 2018 ruling, he said his remaining options were to “effectively suffocate” by removing his ventilator or pay to travel to the Dignitas assisted dying clinic in Switzerland and have his family risk prosecution.

Mr Conway’s wife, Carol, said his carers ensured his death was “painless and dignified”, while Mr Conway had been left with “considerable anxiety” when he removed his ventilator because of uncertainty over how long it would take him to die.

She added: “Noel was in control, which was so important.”

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