Terminally ill man Noel Conway wins appeal bid for a ‘peaceful and dignified’ death
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Terminally ill man Noel Conway wins appeal bid for a ‘peaceful and dignified’ death

A TERMINALLY ill man has been granted the right to appeal a court ruling which rejected his wish to end his life.

Noel Conway, a 68-year-old retired lecturer from Shrewsbury, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease three years ago.

Mr Conway, who says he feels “entombed” by his illness, wants to be helped to die by medical professionals while he still has the mental capacity to make the decision after being given less than six months to live.

Last October, the High Court in London rejected his challenge to the Suicide Act 1981 which he said breached his right to a “peaceful and dignified death”.

But in a landmark ruling this morning, two judges from the Court of Appeal granted the 68-year-old permission to appeal last year’s decision.

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Mr Conway was unable to attend today’s hearing as he is too unwell.

His full appeal will not be heard until a later date.

Mr Conway previously said the only choice he currently has is to “effectively suffocate” to death by removing his ventilator.

He said: “Knowing I had the option of a safe, peaceful assisted death at a time of my choosing would allow me to face my final months without the fear and anxiety that currently plagues me and my loved ones.

“It would allow me to live the rest of my life on my own terms, knowing I was in control rather than at the mercy of a cruel illness.

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“Throughout this case I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the public has shown me. I know that this fight is important not just to me, but thousands of others.”

Under current UK law, any doctor who helps a patient to die faces up to 14 years in prison.

However, Mr Conway believes that the Suicide Act 1961 is incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights.