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Assisted suicide 'announced' on internet

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A 57-year-old man, who used the social network site LinkedIn to announce his intention to seek an assisted suicide, has died in Switzerland.
Simon Binner said that he made the decision to kill himself after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in January:
“As I was driven home I had already decided what I would gladly have to do when my time was upon me.”
Binner, who was operations director for a company providing elderly care, had been working with the British Humanist Association (BHA) on a legal case challenging assisted suicide law. 
His situation prompted comment from the chief executive of Dignity in Dying, a campaign group that supported recent attempts in both houses of Parliament to liberalise the law.
“Why is it he has to go abroad to have a doctor-assisted death? Why isn’t he free to do that in the UK?” Sarah Wootton said.

‘Lure of suicide’

Mr Binner’s decision to pursue assisted suicide contrasts strongly with that of another MND sufferer, Michael Wenham. 
Mr Wenham, who was diagnosed in 2002, is a passionate campaigner against any liberalisation of the law. 
Speaking to Christian Concern last year, Mr Wenham highlighted the danger of the “lure of suicide.”  
He went on to express concern over the pressure that would be put on “vulnerable people, the disabled, the elderly, people with chronic illness or terminal illness,” suggesting “that they will be offered suicide as an easy way out.”
“And actually that’s not a good way for doctors. That undermines the relationship between doctors and patients. I say it’s dangerous”, he said. 

‘Remain vigilant’

Responding to news of the BHA’s legal case, Andrea Williams, chief executive of Christian Concern, said:
"Last month, after careful consideration of the arguments, MPs decisively rejected assisted suicide.
“Sadly, we can’t rest, however. Assisted suicide campaigners have made clear that they will now refocus their attention on the courts. We must remain vigilant in our defence of protections for the most vulnerable. 
“That’s why Merv and Nikki’s Kenward’s legal challenge of the Director of Public Prosecution’s decision to relax prosecution policy is so important.”
In November, the High Court will consider a Judicial Review of the Director of Public Prosecution’s decision, in October 2014, to alter prosecution policy of those assisting suicide. The case is being brought by disability rights campaigner Nikki Kenward and her husband Merv, supported by the Christian Legal Centre.

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