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Terminally ill father-of-two who campaigned to change assisted dying law passes away at home aged 75

A terminally ill father who spent his last months campaigning tirelessly to change the assisted dying law has passed away, his family have announced.

David Minns, 75, from Suffolk, who was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2020, died at home.

He campaigned for laws to introduce medically assisted dying in the UK for people with a terminal illness at the end of their lives.

Assisted dying is currently illegal in England and Wales.

Mr Minns, who campaigned for Dignity in Dying, was driven by the death of his daughter Katie, who also had cancer, according to the Subway.

Suffolk campaigner David Minns died on Wednesday, his family announced

He previously told the publication that he discovered his cancer was terminal “on the day doctors told my daughter she had months to live.”

Since her death in 2019, he has spoken to newspapers and broadcasters, as well as MPs, about the need for a safe, compassionate assisted dying law in the UK.

Mr. Minns’ family has paid tribute, saying he was a “loving husband, father, grandfather, dear brother and avid sportsman who touched the lives of so many.”

They said in a statement: ‘He was committed to caring for his daughter Katie when she died, while working through his own diagnosis.

“He spent the past year fighting for an assisted dying law, knowing that any change would not come in time for him.

As he said when he met his MP, ‘I know this is not going to happen for me. I’m doing it for you and your family.”

“David died at home, as he wished, but his last hours, days and weeks were not what he wanted.

“He received excellent care and support from NHS and hospices, but he was still suffering, just 18 months after watching Katie die in terrible pain.”

They added: ‘We are traumatized by the events leading up to David’s death and are determined to continue his fight.

“We are more certain than ever that the assisted dying law absolutely needs to change so that other terminally ill people can have the option that David was so cruelly denied.”

David was an avid athlete who enjoyed running, rowing and other sports

David was an avid athlete who enjoyed running, rowing and other sports

Ellie Ball, Deputy Director of Communications at Dignity in Dying, said: ‘We are deeply saddened by David’s death and extend our sincere condolences to Sue, Matthew and their loved ones.

“It has been a privilege to work with David to provide a platform for his powerful words and shine a light on the excruciating suffering his family and many others have endured under the current law.

In his impassioned yet gentle manner, David spoke truth to power, exposing the cruelty and inequity of the UK’s assisted suicide ban and making a compelling case for change.

He knew he wouldn’t personally benefit from his own campaigns, but he’s brought us closer than ever to a law that would give dying people like him and Katie the choice, compassion and protection that are so sorely lacking right now.

“David will be fondly remembered and we look forward to supporting his family to carry on his legacy.”

Mr Minns, who campaigned for Dying in Dignity, was also driven by the death of his daughter Katie

Mr Minns, who campaigned for Dying in Dignity, was also driven by the death of his daughter Katie

Over the past year, Mr Minns spoke with former Health Secretary and his own MP Matt Hancock.

Mr Hancock said today: ‘I am incredibly saddened to hear of David’s death. I had the pleasure of getting to know David – a constituent – ​​through his passionate campaign for assisted suicide.

“David’s powerful testimony got me thinking about the question, ‘If death is imminent and the pain is unbearable, would I want to choose how I die?’

“David was both courageous and inspiring. He was a fighter whose spirit will live on through this campaign.

“My thoughts are with David’s family and friends at this difficult time.”

He is survived by his wife Sue and son Matthew.