British terminally ill teacher makes final plea for assisted dying bill after arriving at Dignitas

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Mr Selley used his final words to plea for politicians to enable people in his situation to end their lives at home (PA)

A terminally ill British man who ended his life at Dignitas made a final plea to politicians to enable people to be granted assisted dying at home.

Richard Selley, 65, from Perth, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2015, said the law change would be “too late” for him.

But he said an assisted dying bill would enable people in his situation to “die peacefully”.

In a video message before his planned death in Switzerland on Friday, the former headteacher called on Scottish MPs to support a change in the law.

The British teacher ended his live at assisted suicide clinic Dignitas in Switzerland (GETTY)

Mr Selley said: “I hope that members of the Scottish Parliament support an assisted dying Bill in the future. I think the momentum for a change in the law is growing.

“It will be too late for me, but I hope that sometime soon people in my position will have the choice to have a peaceful death at a time of their choosing.”

“Since my diagnosis with MND four years ago, I have lost the ability to walk, talk and swallow. I have also lost most of the power in my arms.

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“Despite these losses I have tried very hard to remain positive and my palliative care has been outstanding.

“However, as I enter the final stage of my journey, I don’t wish to suffer for much longer so I am seeking an assisted death with Dignitas.

“Despite what some people think, Dignitas do not let people simply fly to Zurich, knock on their door and ask to die.

“I have already had to compose letters, write a life story and obtain medical records that prove that I am terminally ill.

“This has been stressful, particularly as my GP was advised to refuse my request for an up-to-date medical report.”

The Scottish Parliament has twice considered Bills aims at introducing assisted suicide after being brought forward by independent MSP Margo MacDonald.

Following her death from Parkinson’s disease, it was again tabled by Green MSP Patrick Harvie.

There have been two unsuccessful attempts to pass an assisted dying Bill through Holyrood (GETTY)

But both attempts failed to get enough support to proceed through Holyrood.

Sarah Wootton, chief executive of Dignity In Dying, which released Mr Selley's video, said: "Richard and his wife Elaine have shown immense bravery and dignity in sharing their story and speaking out about the injustice they have both suffered under the UK's outdated, broken law in their final weeks together.

"If we are serious about improving end of life care in this country and ensuring that everyone has the death that's right for them, assisted dying must be part of the conversation."