Why a grandfather told he could live another decade has chosen to end his life at Dignitas

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A grandfather terrified that the quality of his life would deteriorate rapidly has ended his own life at assisted suicide clinic Dignitas even though doctors say he could have lived for another decade.

Multiple Sclerosis sufferer Andrew Barclay, 65, who lived in Kent, has now died after he was helped to take a lethal quantity of drugs, having travelling to Switzerland with his wife.

He was first diagnosed with the condition in 1992 but felt that he could no longer go on. Before ending his life, he said that Multiple Sclerosis had taken away all incentive and impetus. He said while he had some quality of life, it was poor, and he had no hope for the future.

The former civil servant said he had thought long and hard about his decision, adding: “My condition will only get worse and worse. I am not going to get better. There is no cure – only unhappiness ahead.”

Law change

Mr Barclay urged the British government to allow assisted dying. He said he was worried that his partner Sandra, 67, could face questions from police when she returned to the UK. He said any system in Britain should be operated in the same was as at Dignitas where you need medical and psychiatric reports and you also need to carry out the final act yourself.

He said that he has suffered times when he has not been able to get out of bed or swallow himself. He can no longer lift up his granddaughters, aged two and four, is wheelchair bound and struggled with incontinence and partial blindness, deciding that he wanted to go now before his condition worsened further.

Mrs Barclay said that while she was heartbroken, she did not want to see her husband suffer any longer. Currently, the law in Britain means that anyone found to have helped or encouraged someone to commit suicide can be jailed for up to 14 years.

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