Sick Stevenage man’s despair at rejection of Assisted Dying Bill
- Credit: Archant
A man struck down by a disease which will gradually leave him paralysed and unable to speak or swallow has spoken of his despair after politicians blocked a bid which could have made his inevitable end less of an ordeal.
Alan Davey, of Coopers Close in Stevenage, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in March last year.
The progressive degenerative disease leads to increasing loss of mobility and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.
Alan, 60, had any hope of a dignified death in the UK crushed when the Assisted Dying Bill was rejected in Parliament on Friday.
Under current UK law, anyone encouraging or assisting a suicide or suicide attempt could face up to 14 years in prison.
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The bill would have allowed competent adults who are terminally ill to choose to have medically supervised assistance to end their own life, but it was rejected with 330 MPs voting against it and 118 in favour.
Alan, who ran a successful air conditioning business before he became ill, wanted the bill passed so he could avoid the pain and suffering that awaits him.
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He said: “As it stands at the moment, the only thing I can do is put a ‘do not resuscitate’ order in place, but that is obviously dependent on me being taken to hospital in a life or death situation.
“My concern is I could well end up with an active mind trapped inside a useless body long before that.
“The whole situation puts me in mind of a Frankenstein scenario. The NHS seem to want to keep me alive, whether I want to stay alive or not.
“We are able to put animals out of their misery, but not humans. Unless I can get myself to Switzerland – where there is an assisted dying clinic – I’m going to have to suffer.
“I’m frightened if I stop and think about it, but I try not to.”