Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying:
“We are saddened to hear of the death of Mr Case, a man with terminal motor neurone disease from Swarthmoor in Cumbria who ended his own life in August 2020, as an inquest has revealed today. We extend our sincere condolences to his family, friends and local community.
“This is a deeply tragic case, but sadly Mr Case is not alone. Deaths like Mr Case’s are part of the collateral damage caused by the UK’s blanket ban on assisted dying. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, three hundred terminally ill people ended their own lives in this country every year, often frightened, alone and in secret for fear of incriminating their loved ones. This is likely to have increased in 2020 with travel to Switzerland for an assisted death virtually impossible due to covid-19 restrictions, forcing terminally ill people to choose between suffering against their wishes or making brutal choices like Mr Case’s. Dying people deserve compassion, protection and the opportunity to talk openly with their doctor and loved ones about their wishes, but our cruel laws stand in the way.
“A growing number of parliamentarians across the political spectrum are recognising that the status quo simply does not work. Several MPs called for a review of the current law in the Commons earlier this month and the Health Secretary recognised the need to gather evidence on the impact of the UK’s current laws against assisted dying. Jurisdictions around the world are grasping this nettle, including New Zealand, where it has recently been legalised, and Ireland, where a bill is currently being considered. The UK must follow suit, or more terminally ill Brits will meet the same fate as Mr Case.”
For more information or interview requests with Dignity in Dying, please contact Tom Davies on 07725 433 025 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.