A terminally ill man in the UK has begun a legal battle to be allowed to die while he is still in control of his mind and can say goodbye.
In a case filed at the British High Court, Noel Conway is seeking to be assisted in dying, a right which the british parliament and Supreme Court has rejected many times.
Reports say that Conway is too weak to take his own life which was why he sought assistance in doing so before he loses his mind and is trapped in his body.
According to the BBC, Conway 67 has motor neurone disease and wants a doctor to be allowed to prescribe a lethal dose when his health deteriorates further.
He said he wanted to say goodbye to loved ones “at the right time, not to be in a zombie-like condition suffering both physically and psychologically”.
According to existing laws, any doctor who helps him to die will face a jail term of up to 14 years.
The ill man said: “I will be quadriplegic. I could be virtually catatonic and conceivably be in a locked-in syndrome – that to me would be a living hell. That prospect is one I cannot accept.”
Mr Conway, a retired college lecturer, was once fit and active but motor neurone disease is gradually destroying all strength in his muscles.
He cannot walk and increasingly relies on a ventilator to help him breathe. As his disease progresses, he fears becoming entombed in his body.
Mr Conway is too weak to come to court from his home but his lawyers say he wants the right to a peaceful and dignified death while he is still able to make the decision.
Mr Conway is being supported by the campaign group Dignity in Dying.
The last major challenge to the law was turned down by the Supreme Court three years ago.
It ruled that while judges could interpret the law it was up to Parliament to decide whether to change it.
In 2015 MPs rejected proposals to allow assisted dying in England and Wales, in their first vote on the issue in almost 20 years.
Supporters of the current legislation say it exists to protect the weak and vulnerable from being exploited or coerced.
The case is expected to take up to four days. (NAN)