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MND sufferer: I will travel to Switzerland to end life

Dave Finlayson from Dundee has urged MSPs to change the law to allow assisted dying.

A Scot suffering from motor neurone disease intends to end his life at a clinic in Switzerland.

Around half of people in the UK would consider making the same decision, according to a survey, although most could not afford to make the journey.

Dave Finlayson from Dundee is calling for the law to be changed to allow people suffering from terminal illnesses to end their lives at home.

"When I realised how things could go with MND I knew that I would want the choice of an assisted death when the time came," the 67-year-old said.

"I joined Dignitas. I worry, though, I am going to have to travel there when I'm still in reasonable shape and that could be taking years off my life.

"I worry if I leave it too late I will be trapped. I hate having to make that choice - go early and lose time or get trapped and suffer."

According to Dignity in Dying, 51% of people in the UK would consider travelling to Switzerland and 69% said they would consider breaking the law to help a terminally ill loved one die abroad.

Just 22% of 1600 people surveyed said they could afford the average £10,000 cost.

https://stv.tv/news/uk/1393659-noel-conway-terminally-ill-man-brings-review-over-assisted-dying-law-in-f/ | default

Mr Finlayson said: "I have to be careful with my money because I know I need it for Switzerland and I'm one of the lucky ones who have enough set aside to pay for it.

"I find it difficult that there is nobody I can talk to about this. If the Scottish Parliament could bring in new laws on assisted dying it would be an end to all my problems.

"I'd no longer have to worry about getting trapped, about having to go to Switzerland and I'd not have to worry about suffering."

https://stv.tv/news/east-central/1378017-family-publish-harrowing-images-of-dying-mother-s-battle-with-ms/ | default

In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, assisting a suicide is a crime and those convicted could face up to 14 years in prison.

There is no specific crime of assisting a suicide in Scotland but people involved could be convicted of culpable homicide.

Ally Thomson, Scottish director of Dignity in Dying, has urged MSPs to change the law.

"This report exposes the unacceptable reality that is faced by so many dying people in this country," he said.

"By denying terminally ill people the option of an assisted death at home, we are not solving the problem, just outsourcing it to Switzerland.

"Dying people in Scotland and their families are the ones paying the price."

No to Assisted Suicide, a group which opposes the right to die, believes permitting terminally ill people to end their lives would lead to wrongful deaths.

It campaigned against the bill on assisted dying introduced, which was defeated by 330 votes to 118 in 2015.

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