Dying man Noel Conway can fight right-to-die statute – BBC News

Image caption Noel Conway was diagnosed with motor neurone cancer in 2014

A terminally ill man has won the right to bring a High Court challenge over the law on assisted dying.

Noel Conway, 67, asked the Court of Appeal to overturn a decision that prevented a judicial review over the blanket prohibition on providing a person with assistance to die.

The retired college lecturer, who has motor neurone disease, is not expected to live for more than 12 more months.

Mr Conway, from Shrewsbury, was diagnosed with the disease in 2014.

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He lost an earlier High Court bid on 30 March.

Mr Conway wants a declaration that the Suicide Act 1961 is incompatible with Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, which relates to respect for private and family life, and Article 14, which protects from discrimination.

Image copyright NOEL CONWAY
Image caption Before his illness Noel Conway was a keen skier, climber and cyclist

He told magistrates in previous hearings he faced an “unbearable death” because of the law.

His lawyers have said that when Mr Conway has less than six months to live but still has the mental capacity to build the decision, “he would wish to be able to enlist assistance to bring about a peaceful and dignified death”.

Mr Conway, whose incurable neurological condition causes weakness and squander in the limbs, had hoped a judicial review would ultimately result in terminally ill adults who meet strict criteria being able to make their own decisions about objective their lives.

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But two out of three High court judges rejected his petition last month.

Now, the lawsuit will go back to the same tribunal to be heard in full, following Wednesday’s appeal court ruling by Lord Justice McFarlane and Lord Justice Beatson.

The case will be the first High Court challenge to the existing law since MPs rejected an attempt to introduce assisted dying in 2015, the BBC’s medical correspondent Fergus Walsh said.

It will also be the first such instance since right-to-die campaigners lost their appeal before the Supreme court in 2014,

The campaign group Dignity in Succumbing has been supporting Mr Conway’s bid.

Mr Conway who lives with his wife and son, used to enjoy climbing, skiing, strolling and cycling, but is now dependent on a ventilator overnight, requires a wheelchair and needs help to dress and eat.

His wife, Carol, described his diagnosis as “devastating” when the couple spoke to the BBC in January .

Mr Conway said he feared becoming “entombed” in his body as his health deteriorated.

Image copyright FERGUS WALSH/ BBC
Image caption Carol and Noel Conway spoke to the BBC in January

Read more: www.bbc.co.uk

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