Noel Conway vs Ministry of Justice appeal successful

Posted On: 
12th April 2017

On Thursday 30th March 2017, a decision was handed down on the ‘Noel Conway vs Ministry of Justice’ case denying permission for it to proceed. Noel Conway’s legal team appealed this decision and a hearing took place on Tuesday 11th April 2017. The appeal was successful and the decision was overturned. Noel’s case will now proceed to a full hearing in the High Court.

Noel said:

“I am delighted that my case will now proceed to the next stage. Clearly the Court of Appeal has agreed that this is an issue deserving full and proper consideration and I look forward to a full hearing at the High Court.

“Having overcome this initial setback in my fight for choice at the end of life, I am more determined than ever to continue. I have the support of my loved ones and many thousands of others behind me; people who have donated over £90,000 towards my legal costs and sent heart-warming messages of encouragement to me and my family.

“I have lived my whole life on my own terms, in control of the choices and decisions I make. Why then, when I am facing my final months, should these rights be stripped away from me, leaving me at the mercy of a cruel illness? I know I am going to die anyway, but how and when should be up to me. To have the option of an assisted death available in this country would provide me and countless others with great reassurance and comfort. It would allow me to decide when I am ready to go, rather than be forced into a premature death by travelling to Dignitas at great emotional and financial cost, or to suffer a traumatic, drawn out death at home.”

 

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, who is supporting Noel’s case, added:

“We are pleased that Noel’s case will now get the full and proper hearing it deserves at the High Court.

“The current law simply does not work for dying people or their families. Terminally ill Britons are being forced to suffer against their wishes or take drastic measures at home and abroad in order to wrest back control over their deaths. People like Noel deserve choice and control at the end of life but the law denies them these basic rights.

“Noel, supported by Dignity in Dying, wants the courts to examine the evidence in full, taking into account the failure of Parliament to adequately engage with this issue and the progress made overseas in recent years.

“Noel and his family have received overwhelming support so far – the huge sums raised on a Crowdfunder for his legal costs are testament to this. Clearly there is great appetite for change; indeed 82% of the public would support a law to allow assisted dying as an option for terminally ill, mentally competent adults1.

“We are indebted to Noel and his family for devoting their time and energy to this hugely important case. We now call on the courts to proceed as a matter of urgency – not only for Noel’s sake but also because this is an issue that simply cannot be ignored any longer.”

 

Yogi Amin, partner and head of public law at Irwin Mitchell, added:

“The world has changed phenomenally in the past few decades with many medical advances, but the law on assisted dying for those who are terminally ill hasn’t changed for more than 50 years.

“We are pleased the Court of Appeal has today agreed that there is merit in hearing Noel’s case. He is an extremely brave and proud man who is supported by his loving family. He would like the choice to be able to die with dignity.”