Euthanasia campaigner ends her own life at 51

British euthanasia campaigner and MS sufferer, Debbie Purdy, has died aged 51.

Debbie Purdy, the right-to-die campaigner who won a landmark court ruling to clarify the law on assisted suicide, has died aged 51.

Mrs Purdy, from Bradford, passed away at the city’s Marie Curie Hospice on December 23, having lived with MS for 20 years.

She had been staying at the hospice for a year, and had reportledly been refusing food since entering the hospice in December 2013.

Mrs Purdy’s legal victory, at the House of Lords in 2009, led to new guidelines on assisted suicide being issued by Keir Starmer QC, the then director of public prosecutions. Mr Starmer said the year after the ruling that the motives of those assisting suicide would be at the centre of the decision over whether they should be prosecuted.

Campaigners said that Mrs Purdy’s legacy made it unlikely that relatives, acting wholly on compassionate grounds and in an amateur capacity would be prosecuted if they helped a sick family member take their own life, if that relative clearly wanted to die.

She had argued in court that it would be a breach of her human rights if she did not know whether her husband, the Cuban musician Omar Puente, would be prosecuted if he travelled with her to the Swiss clinic.

Mr Puente told the BBC: “We would like to thank the Marie Curie Hospice in Bradford for the care the staff gave her, which allowed her last year to be as peaceful and dignified as she wished.”

Mrs Purdy decided to end her life in a British hospice, by depriving herself of food, because she could not afford to travel to an assisted suicide clinic, such as Dignitas in Switzerland, the BBC reported.

In her final interview, Mrs Purdy told the BBC shortly before she died: “If somebody could find a cure for MS, I would be the first person in line. It’s not a matter of wanting to end my life, it’s a matter of not wanting my life to be this. And I have lived with MS for nearly 20 years.”

it is terrible that she had to end her life by starving herself to death.

The law is an ass. Where is the dignity in dying like that…just to meet stupid legal requirements.


– The Telegraph

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.