News

Help this campaign to end assisted dying ban in the UK

Help this campaign to end assisted dying ban in the UK

Last year, because assisted dying is illegal mainly due to religious opposition in the UK, Jeffrey Spector, pictured above with his wife Elaine, was forced to travel to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland to end his life.

Elaine Spector explained here that her husband was suffering a terminal illness:

Jeffrey said that if he had had the comfort of knowing that he could die in England when things got really bad for him, he would have chosen to  live longer.

As it was, he felt he had to end his life sooner as he wished to be able to travel abroad under his own steam and in control.  It is a huge  source of  regret and loss to us that Jeffrey had to shorten his life because there was no humane way for him to die in England with assistance.

I believe very strongly that no family should be faced with the situation that we had to face of arranging to have an assisted  death in a foreign country.

Jeffrey always said that had he been able to have an assisted death at home, he would have thrown a party and said goodbye to all his friends and  when he was too unwell to carry on, he would have asked for  a dignified and painless ending – that is all he  wanted.

Now, through a campaign called Your Death, Your Choice, Elaine, together with two other parties – “J” and “V” – are trying to raise funds to mount a legal challenge to the assisted dying ban through litigation in the High Court. But such litigation needs a substantial amount of cash.

Said Elaine:

We need your help to change the law. We cannot do this on our own and without funding – we are not eligible for legal aid and most of us cannot afford to litigate as we have families to look after. This issue is of public importance and we should fight for this change together. We need to raise funds to bring a case in the courts.

Parliament has not provided the solution we hoped for. The House of Commons debate was too emotive and not based on evidence. We need to bring a case before the High court which can assess all the evidence, the risk and the benefits – the hearing could last weeks.

In order to raise an initial £50,000, a Your Death, Your Choice crowdfunder appeal has been launched on behalf of Elaine Spector and two other parties by the Public Law team at Bindmans LLP. It says:

Those who plan to challenge the law say: ‘We are just two representative families. There are many others in the same situation.  We are doing it for everyone who believes in the right to autonomy over death.  We believe there is a public interest in this legal action going forward.’

We need £50,000 initially.  This will cover steps up to but excluding trial.  Getting statements and experts on board, preparing a  letter to send setting out the factual and legal basis of the claim, considering the government’s reply, gathering evidence, legal research and attending hearings to manage the case, determine how long the trial will be and set dates. If we can get that far, we will need to review the case and costs in order to carry on.

This crowdfunder allows us to retain all of the funds we raise, even if we don’t reach our target. We will use the funds to start working on the initial stages of the case: investigating evidence, taking statements and completing the pre-litigation work.

What you can do:

• You can help by donating money;
• Spread the word by forwarding the crowdfunding page to your contacts.

Andrea

Earlier this year, after BBC 2 aired How to Die: Simon’s Choice, a documentary chronicling businessman Simon Binner’s decision to kill himself because of his advancing Motor Neurone Disease, the corporation was attacked by Andrea Minichiello Williams, above, of Christian Concern, who said here:

The implication of the documentary is that many elderly and disabled people are no more than ‘wasted space’, when nothing could be further from the truth!

We must oppose this and instead affirm the value of all human life as created in God’s image.

The current law protects vulnerable people, and must be upheld in the face of ongoing attempts to liberalise it.

It is interesting that the BBC did not choose to contrast Mr Binner’s story with that of a person who chose palliative care over suicide.

11 responses to “Help this campaign to end assisted dying ban in the UK”

  1. AgentCormac says:

    I would just love to know what Andrea Minichiello Williams would have to say on the subject if she had to watch a member of her own family suffer so much that they would choose to end their own life. Fucking idiot.

  2. cnocspeireag says:

    She wouldn’t care, I cannot detect conscience or morals in her.

  3. Rob Andrews says:

    Ye. I saw my uncle die o cancer back in the 70s. He looked like one of those concentration camp people you see in the newsreels of liberated comps after the war–and i mean exactly that. They wouldn’t do anything for him except withdraw food.

    Maybe if she has cancer or some other thing HERSELF she will change her mind. AS a libertarian any adult who wants to die shoiuld be allowed to die.

    “An atheist is a person with no invisable means of support”. from the web.

  4. Trevor Blake says:

    We know from the Bible that suicide is a moral good – if it prevents gossip that one was, instead, killed by a mere woman.

    And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull. Then he called hastily unto the young man his armor-bearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A women slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. – Judges 9:52-53

    And as far as “all human life as created in God’s image,” well, I might come up with a short (or very long) list of men and women that suggest God is a very ugly deity indeed. Not ugly outside, but ugly from skin to heart. Can you think of who might go on that list?

  5. Newspaniard says:

    I gave up trying to pledge some dosh. Bloody crowdfunding site very hostile and would not respond to my clicking on the options nor (even) on the PayPal button.

    If people set up a site, they should check that it works before publicizing it.

    Small wonder that so little money has been pledged.

  6. Edwin Salter says:

    It seems very silly that we don’t all know an easy decent way to go that needs no assistance.

  7. barriejohn says:

    Trevor Blake: You’re right. Nothing wrong with a bit of assisted dying if it further’s God’s cause:

    Then Abner said to Joab, “Now let the young men arise and hold a contest before us.” And Joab said, “Let them arise.” So they arose and went over by count, twelve for Benjamin and Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. Each one of them seized his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down together. Therefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon. That day the battle was very severe, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten before the servants of David.

    (II Sam. 2:14-17)

    The Bible is full of such morally improving stories for children!

  8. Cali Ron says:

    This is my story of my father’s death and why assisted suicide should be legal everywhere.

    My father had cancer of the esophagus and was under hospice care at home when he passed away prior to any laws allowing assisted suicide in America. For the last month he was in constant pain, couldn’t eat or drink (fed through tubes, stomach pump, etc.), barely able to talk. We watched his body and spirit slowly waste away. On his final night many friends and family members were gathered to say their final goodbyes and support us, but he had been unconscious for a few days already and the goodbyes were hollow. Though his body had wasted away his heart was strong and just wouldn’t let him go. We had been giving him morphine through an IV and on that day had started increasing his dosage until we were giving him many times the normal dosage to bring an end, but he had developed a tolerance from being on it so long and his heart just wouldn’t let him go. It was agonizing. If it were possible then assisted suicide would have spared him much pain, our family and friends much agony and we all could have said our last goodbyes lending the closure that we never had.

    Clearly, Andrea has never had to suffer through such a painful and extended death or she is a heartless bitch. Why make people suffer needlessly and deny somebody the dignity of death on their terms. It’s inhumane.

    I miss you dad!

  9. Stephen Mynett says:

    A moving story Cali Ron, I saw my grandfather die of cancer and a few friends of HIV and can empathise with you. Assisted dying was not really an issue when my grandfather died, back in the 60s, but was by the time AIDS came around and a lot of needless suffering could have been spared. I think, actually am quite sure, some was by decent doctors who upped the morphine earlier than most would but even that is a dangerous move as there are zealous religionist bigot nurses who would be quick to grass up a humane doctor.

    As for the heartless bitch Williams, I doubt she would care that much, religionists like her love suffering. The Albanian Poison Dwarf is a good example, she had access to more medicine than most in India but allowed the inmates of her homes to die in agony and squalor as she claimed the more they suffered here the better it would be for them later on.

    Of course when the Poison Dwarf was ill she went to the best private clinics, often in private jets belonging to criminals.

  10. Cali Ron says:

    Stephen Mynett: “Albanian Poison Dwarf”-Nice, I hadn’t heard that one before. I’m going to borrow that one.

    Needless suffering seems to be a badge of honor to insufferable religiots like the “Albanian Poison Dwarf” and that heartless bitch. Willful ignorance!

  11. anseladams says:

    I came away realising how lucky we are in countries where free speech is not only tolerated but is celebrated, where although the catholic voice is venomous, it is at least small and I felt a close affinity to the wonderful atheists in Poland who will always have  a big place in my heart!