Friends at the End is supporting a new legal challenge, launched by Phil Newby, to change assisted dying laws for those with long-term degenerative conditions.
Phil Newby was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2014 at the age of 43, and since then has battled against the odds of his prognosis, which had given him just 2-3 years to live. Despite his resilience, Phil’s condition is slowly deteriorating; over the last five years he has gradually lost the use of his arms and can no longer walk. Unfortunately, his standard of living will only get worse.
Phil is an ardent lover of life and enjoys supporting and spending time with his wife and two daughters. It is this love of life and family that has driven Phil to seek to change the law on assisted dying. As the law currently stands, Phil will be forced to slowly lose his freedom and enter into a life of suffering, no longer able to do the things he once loved. Rather than have the end of his life punctuated by suffering and indignity, he wants the right to choose the time and circumstances of his death- to die peacefully, surrounded by family.
Phil is looking to raise £20,000 to cover the initial costs of his legal challenge, which seeks to change the law to give individuals with terminal long-term degenerative conditions access to assisted dying. Phil has brought together a highly skilled legal team and will be represented by Saimo Chahal QC (Hon), a partner at Bindmans LLP, and counsel Paul Bowen QC of Brick Court Chambers, who, together, have a wealth of experience with assisted dying cases. Having learnt much from previous cases the legal team will be approaching Phil’s case from a new angle and hope to carefully dismantle the Government’s former objections.
Friends at the Ends is proud to announce that it will donate £500 towards Phil’s legal fees. It is time for a compassionate and dignified approach to assisted dying. We hope that Phil’s case will provide a legal basis for assisted dying, and that a full and fair treatment of the facts in a court of law will put to rest some of the mischaracterisation that has marred much of the assisted dying debate.
Over 80% of the public support assisted dying and the law needs to change to reflect the views of those who are governed by it. Cases like Phil’s highlight the indignity of the current situation; no one with a degenerative condition should be forced, by law, to suffer. It is only right that we put our full support behind his case and make life more tolerable for those in the most challenging of circumstances.
You can support Phil’s case through his CrowdJustice fundraising page.