Humanists UK intervenes in Conway assisted dying case

Humanists UK has been given permission to intervene in the assisted dying case being brought by its member Noel Conway. Noel, who has motor neurone disease and has been given months left to live, is due to have his case heard at the High Court from 17-20 July. Humanists UK’s written intervention was submitted to the court yesterday.

Noel is seeking to change the law to make assisted dying legal for those who are terminally ill with six months or fewer to live. He is being supported by Dignity in Dying to bring his claim. Another claim is separately being brought by Humanists UK member ‘Omid T’, who is incurably suffering with multiple systems atrophy. Omid’s case will be heard after Noel’s in the autumn and Humanists UK intends to apply to intervene in his case too.

Humanists UK Chief Executive Andrew Copson commented, ‘It is completely wrong that people who are of sound mind but terminally ill or incurably suffering are denied the choice to die with dignity. The deliberate extension of suffering as a matter of public policy is a stain on our humanity. The majority of the public want change but as long as Parliament is unwilling to act, it is up to brave individuals such as Noel to fight for all our rights. We will always stand with such courageous and public-spirited champions.’

Humanists UK is being represented in its intervention by Nancy Collins of Hodge Jones & Allen LLP alongside Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC and Graeme Hall, both of Doughty Street Chambers.


Notes to editors

For further comment or information, please contact BHA Director of Public Affairs and Policy Richy Thompson at or on 0781 55 89 636.

Read more about Humanists UK’s campaigns work on assisted dying:

At Humanists UK, we advance free thinking and promote humanism to create a tolerant society where rational thinking and kindness prevail. Our work brings non-religious people together to develop their own views, helping people be happier and more fulfilled in the one life we have. Through our ceremonies, education services, and community and campaigning work, we strive to create a fair and equal society for all.

Humanists UK recently changed its name from the British Humanist Association: