In response to the conclusion of the inquest into the death of William Maguire reported yesterday, 8th March 2017, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, Sarah Wootton said:
“We are saddened by the news of William Maguire, who ended his own life at home in March 2015 in an attempt to relieve the suffering that motor neurone disease was causing him.
“Tragically, this is not an isolated incident. Around 300 terminally ill people end their own lives in this country every year. Every eight days someone from Britain travels to Dignitas for an assisted death.
“The UK’s current blanket ban on assisted dying denies dying people the choice and control they deserve at the end of life. It forces many people like William to take matters into their own hands, ending their own lives behind closed doors in traumatic circumstances. The effect this has on their loved ones can be devastating.
“People who are well enough, wealthy enough and have loved ones willing to risk prosecution in accompanying them, can travel hundreds of miles to have an assisted death abroad. That choice is not open to everyone.
“People with motor neurone disease deserve better – they deserve a compassionate law that respects individual choice and allows people to wrestle back control from an illness that has robbed them of so much. Noel Conway, also living with MND, is currently fighting for these rights in the courts. When will Parliament finally listen to the pleas of dying people and take action?”
For more information please contact Ellie Ball, Media and Campaigns Officer at Dignity in Dying at firstname.lastname@example.org or 0207 479 7732.
Notes to Editor
Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.