‘I made a deathbed promise to my mate on assisted dying – now MPs have to act’ | UK | News | EUROtoday

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Bob Cole travelled to Switzerland in 2015 – a yr after his spouse died on the identical centre in Zurich.

Mick Murray, 77, his buddy for 45 years, mentioned: “I promised I would fight on and I am. I think he would be absolutely thrilled by some of the change that is happening.

“Bob always said ‘it takes a great deal of effort to achieve the inevitable’, but I really believe we are nearing a tipping point.”

Bob, from Chester, was 68 when he died. After being advised he had mesothelioma, an aggressive asbestos-related most cancers, he fought for a change within the regulation and supported the marketing campaign group Dignity in Dying, saying: “I should be able to die with dignity in my own country, in my own bed. The law needs to change.”

His spouse Ann Hall died at Dignitas in February 2014 after battling the mind situation supranuclear palsy.

Bob’s speedy decline was a thriller to associates.

He had been a super-fit mountain rescue volunteer in North Wales. Mick mentioned: “It all changed within a matter of weeks.

“He and I had been walking in the Peak District weeks before and his doctor diagnosed a lung infection and prescribed antibiotics.

“But almost immediately he was in the hands of consultants in Chester and later Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.

“It was there they worked it out after he told them he had been an apprentice carpenter at the age of 16, sawing up asbestos.” He added: “They tried to drain his lungs and sent him home, but he was taking more and more morphine, patches, pills, liquid morphine.

“He would almost pass out, wake up two or three hours later and might have a good hour or two before it started all over again.

“He was completely out of reach of palliative care.”

Mick, of Matlock, Derbyshire, feels the best way Bob died was profound.

He mentioned: “I think he wanted this to be a very public statement. He wanted to turn his death into an act for the good of people.

“He was a passionate human rights advocate all his life and was committed to making his death matter.

“I think that is a very brave and noble thing to do.”

Bob’s final want was for the regulation on assisted dying to be modified.

But the Assisted Dying Bill was rejected in 2015 and helping a suicide stays a felony offence with a most of 14 years in jail.

Married father-of-two Mick, who first met Bob once they have been the respective presidents of their college college students’ unions, mentioned: “At the moment it’s a terrible lottery.”

“Because people are scared of breaking the law when they are in the most terrible situation, at the end of life, in pain and beyond ­palliative care. What choice do they have? Tragically many people aren’t able to travel to Dignitas, either because of their illness or cost.

“Many end up taking their own lives.”

Bob had deliberate to journey to Dignitas in September 2015 however his situation deteriorated so quickly he was compelled to deliver his dying ahead. He died on August 14.

Former grownup training employee Mick mentioned: “I was on holiday in South Africa but came back on an overnight flight for his last day and flew back the day he died.

“For him it was a merciful release. He said, ‘I am at peace, my friends’.”

He added: “Going to Dignitas is lonely, it’s like a semi-covert ­operation and the actual mechanics of it are not nice.

“But Bob followed the example of his wife and drew a lot of inspiration from her.” Ann, additionally 68 when she died, was a jail psychological well being customer and lively group member.

Mick mentioned: “She went downhill extraordinarily quickly. She was in a terrible physical state and couldn’t stand, feed or dress herself, but mentally she was OK.

“She went to Dignitas as soon as she could arrange it.”

Our petition requires the Government to allocate Parliamentary time for assisted dying to be absolutely debated within the House of Commons – and to present MPs a vote on the problem. Backed by Dame Esther Rantzen and Dignity in Dying, it would run till
July 5.

Having handed greater than 10,000 signatures, the Government was obliged to supply a written response. And after passing 100,000, the petition now needs to be thought-about for debate in Parliament.

Please add your voice to our name should you consider that dying folks within the UK ought to have the choice to finish their lives with dignity, topic to strict eligibility standards and safeguards.

You can signal by visiting petition.parliament.uk/petitions/653593

Or scan the QR code to signal.