By Ron Howells •
Published: 11 Jun 2021 • 20:21
Terminally ill assisted dying campaigner Noel Conway dies aged 71 at home. image: Twitter
Terminally ill assisted dying campaigner Noel Conway dies aged 71 at home.
Noel Conway, who suffered from motor neurone disease, only had movement in his right hand, head and neck. He had chosen to remove the ventilator with the support of his family and the hospice.
Mr Conway, of Shropshire, took his campaign to the Supreme Court, arguing for his right to die, but lost the appeal in 2018. His wife Carol said he had died at home on Wednesday after deciding with his family to remove his ventilator.
She said the local hospice team and ventilation nurses had “ensured Noel had a painless and dignified death, demonstrating empathy and concern for us all. Noel was in control, which was so important,” Mrs Conway said.
She added: “Ultimately, Noel wanted the choice of an assisted death and I hope his campaigning will bring this option closer to becoming a reality for other terminally ill people in this country.”
He asked Dignity in Dying, which supported his legal action, to release his final words after his death.
“My voice has depleted to the extent that many people cannot now tell what I say and my eyesight recently deteriorated,” he wrote.
“I’m already a paraplegic and I cannot use my hands or fingers but I am aware that my neck muscles are weakening as are my mouth and speech muscles. I recognise that the time has come to take the decision now to do something about this. I am not leaving it until I’m completely bed-ridden and unable to communicate at all.”
He wrote how he felt he had “no alternative to ending my life without pain and suffering and without compromising others. This is not something I would have chosen.”
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Ron actually started his working career as an Ophthalmic Technician- things changed when, during a band rehearsal, his amplifier blew up and he couldn’t get it fixed so he took a course at Birmingham University and ended up doing a degree course. He built up a chain of electronics stores and sold them as a franchise over 35 years ago. After five years touring the world Ron decided to move to Spain with his wife and son, a place they had visited over the years, and only bought the villa they live in because it has a guitar-shaped swimming pool!.
Playing the guitar since the age of 7, he can often be seen, (and heard!) at beach bars and clubs along the length of the coast. He has always been interested in the news and constantly thrives to present his articles in an interesting and engaging way.
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