Press Release

Disability campaigners to create ‘giant graveyard’ outside Court of Appeal to highlight threat of assisted suicide challenge

30 April 2018         Issued by: The Distant Voices

Disability rights campaigners will tomorrow (Tuesday 1 May) create a ‘giant graveyard’ outside the Royal Courts of Justice to highlight the danger of a legal challenge being heard by the Court of Appeal.

The visual display, pioneered by disability group ‘The Distant Voices’, will appear shortly before Noel Conway’s challenge is due to be heard by the Court of Appeal.

Mr Conway, who has Motor Neurone Disease (MND), is asking for intervention from the court to allow doctors to assist him and others who are terminally ill to commit suicide. He is being supported by Dignity in Dying (formerly the Voluntary Euthanasia Society).

But Nikki Kenward, who has Guillain-Barré syndrome and has organised tomorrow’s display, says that if it were successful, Mr Conway’s challenge would have huge consequences for her and other disabled people:

“Should Mr Conway win his case it will change my life forever. As a disabled person I am only too aware that some people see me as having ‘no quality of life.’ A young friend, who has cerebral palsy, and I, were told by a youth worker, ‘If I were you two I’d rather be dead.’ Please don’t tell me I will not be vulnerable if euthanasia is legalised.”

Nikki’s husband and carer, Merv, responding to the case said:

“As a carer, one of my greatest fears is what will happen to Nikki if I’m not here to care for her. When I consider the dreadful alternatives that are available, including the looming possibility of euthanasia, I am reminded that those around me have a willingness to see her as a burden, living a life that they would not choose. I worry for her, I have a knot in my stomach when I think of what I know is possible.” 


Notes for editors

The display will be unveiled outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, London WC2A 2LL by 9.45am on Tuesday 1st May 2018.

For more information on Noel Conway’s appeal, read Care not Killing’s summary:

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