Care home director with motor neurone disease ends life at Swiss clinic
A care home director with motor neurone disease has ended his life at a Swiss assisted-dying clinic, it was reported today.
Simon Binner, a 57-year-old Cambridge graduate, had previously announced on social media that he would take his own life.
In a posting on his LinkedIn page which emerged last week, he wrote: “I died in Switzerland with Eternal Spirit on 19 Oct 2015 and my funeral was 13 Nov 2015 … I don’t recommend MND. Better to have one massive fatal stroke or be killed instantly by a drunk driver! There is nothing I can say that is positive about MND.”
Eternal Spirit is a clinic in Basel where people end their lives. The Daily Mail reported that he travelled there over the weekend with his wife Debbie. In recent weeks Binner had been working with the British HumanistAssociation (BHA) and Bindmans solicitors.
They posted a video in which Debbie explained: “He doesn’t want to go to Switzerland and he doesn’t want to go into a hospital. He wants to be at home as much as possible with his friends and family. And I think the most important thing to say is that Simon believes if that was available in the UK he may well want to stay alive longer.”
A spokeswoman for the BHA could not confirm the death, but said in a statement: “Simon Binner’s battle with motor neurone disease may now be at an end, but many others like him continue to suffer without access to the dignified death that they want for themselves.
“All these people want, like Simon, is for the law to treat them with compassion and respect them as fully autonomous human beings. Most Britons agree with this position – around 80% of us.
“But parliament has let the people of Britain down, and now the fight for the right to die must return to the courts. Our thoughts remain with the Binner family at this difficult time.”
In September MPs rejected the assisted dying bill to allow terminally ill patients to be supplied with a lethal dose of drugs.