Case Studies

Omid T

Friends at the End have been supporting ‘Omid T’ in his bid to challenge the law on Assisted Dying.

The law firm Bindmans are representing ‘Omid T’ who was diagnosed with the incurable illness, Multiple System Atrophy (MSA), in 2014.

He is now largely confined to bed, has to wear a catheter bag and needs help with all personal care. He has difficulty speaking, and has lost much control in his arms and hands – making him unable to attempt suicide unaided. (A previous attempt failed.)

Omid is not terminally ill, in the sense of having a life expectancy of 6 months or less.

In July 2017 prior two the case calling in court an event was held to look at the legal and ethical issues raised by this case. To listen to the full seminar, click  here. You can also watch a short trailer of the event here. 

A copy of an interview Omid gave  on Victoria Derbyshire’s current affairs programme  explaining the issues around this case can be found here @ 01:37:58.

You can donate to Omid’s campaign fund here.

Update:  By 4th October 2018 Omid’s suffering had become unbearable and he decided to have an assisted death at Life Circle in Switzerland. He died peacefully and was accompanied by his mother who wanted to share the last moments with Omid. His legal case is unresolved and a judgment on this issue is still awaited and will come too late for Omid.

Gordon Ross

In early 2014 the late Margo MacDonald MSP was in the process of steering her Assisted Suicide Bill through the Scottish Parliament.  As part of the campaign of support for that political endeavour, it was clear that a challenge to the existing law was vital.  It was reckoned that there was a need for a “Braveheart” to come forward, someone who would be the human face of the need for a change and who could take on the considerable burden of that effort.  Friends at the End member Gordon Ross said he was willing and able to do just that.

As a result of an incurable, progressive disorder, Gordon was presented with an opportunity to do more than most to advance the cause of Assisted Dying.  It is to his eternal credit that, despite his parlous physical condition…for by then he was unable to walk…he volunteered to do whatever he could to help.

There then followed a quite remarkable series of interviews on BBC TV, STV and in the national newspapers.  Helen Puttick, then Health Correspondent of the Herald, produced several influential articles, including the front page lead story on February 10, 2014.  There can be little doubt that the publicity generated by Gordon’s unassuming, calm and rational response to his dire personal circumstances was of great significance to the campaign and, arguably, outweighed the accompanying masses of dry statistics and opinion polls.

Ultimately, Gordon’s legal challenge failed but, in explaining why his appeal was being turned down, the High Court, for the first time, stated it was inconceivable that an individual who assisted another to travel to a foreign country to end their life would face prosecution in Scotland.  Sadly, as a result of rapidly deteriorating health, Gordon was unable to attend court and did not live to hear that result, nor the reasons lying behind it.  However, we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for the astonishing effort he made to support Assisted Dying and for the inspiration he gave to others to continue the fight to bring that about.