Assisted dying campaigner, Bob Cole, ends life in Switzerland


A terminally ill man who called for changes to the UK law on assisted dying has ended his life at a Swiss clinic.

Bob Cole, 68, died at the Dignitas euthanasia unit surrounded by four of his closest friends, just 18 months after watching his wife Ann Hall take her life in the same clinic.

Campaign charity Dignity in Dying said they were informed of his death this afternoon.

Mr Cole, who was suffering from an aggressive form of lung cancer called mesothelioma, said prior to his death that he was "taking a stand" against laws which make it illegal for others to encourage or assist someone trying to take their own life.

According to The Sun, the former carpenter from Chester spent £12,000 to die abroad.

He told the newspaper: "I should be able to die with dignity in my own country, in my own bed. The law needs to change. How do you change the law? People have got to take a stand. So that's what I'm doing today.

"I saw Ann die and a year later to be faced with the same decision yourself is quite the double whammy. I had just started to pick myself up when I fell ill."

Mr Cole said his cancer had seen him bent double, "crouching like an animal", adding: "That's no life."

"The politicians need to have the guts to change this law. Just bite the bullet. Accept that the British public want this change. If they don't it will be forced upon them because the public feeling is overwhelming."

In a statement Dignity in Dying said Bob was "committed to the campaign for assisted dying".

It said: "Dignity in Dying has been informed that Bob Cole had an assisted death at Dignitas in Switzerland this afternoon. Our thoughts are with his friends and family.

"He joined us at many campaign events, did significant work to advance the campaign in the media and donated both time and money to the campaign.

"Bob's passing is not only a personal loss to those who knew him, but also for the entire campaign for assisted dying."

His wife, Ann, 67, who suffered from progressive supranuclear palsy, chose to die in February last year, in a process Mr Cole called "graceful".