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Terminally ill man 'announces his own death date and funeral'

Published 16/10/2015

Simon Binner has apparently put his funeral notice on his LinkedIn profile
Simon Binner has apparently put his funeral notice on his LinkedIn profile

A terminally ill company director suffering from Motor Neurone Disease (MND) appears to have used his LinkedIn profile to announce the date of his death and funeral before he takes his own life at a Swiss euthanasia clinic.

Simon Binner, diagnosed with aggressive Motor Neurone Disease (MND) in January, updated his profile page to say he will die this coming Monday.

And he revealed his funeral will be held next month on Friday 13th, according to his profile page.

In a section entitled Patient, his profile reads: "I was diagnosed with aggressive Motor Neurone Disease (MND) on 7 Jan 2015. As I was driven home I had already decided what I would gladly have to do when my time was upon me.

"I died in Switzerland with Eternal Spirit on Mon 19 Oct 2015 and my funeral was on Fri 13 Nov 2015.

"My MND accelerated very rapidly. The sawbones initially thought I would last until 2017/2018, but they were mistaken - no worries, it's an inexact science!

"I don't recommend MND! Better to have one massive fatal stroke or be killed instantly by a drunk driver! There is nothing that I can say that's positive about MND."

Mr Binner, from Purley in Surrey, will travel to the Eternal Spirit clinic in Basel where he will be assisted to die, his LinkedIn Profile says.

In a video filmed with the law firm Bindmans LLP, his wife Debbie Binner, a former Sky News presenter, said he "strongly" believes he has the legal right to choose when he will die.

And she told how Mr Binner, a Cambridge University graduate, has been rushed in to choosing when he will die because assisted suicide is illegal in Britain.

In a clip posted on YouTube of the couple, Mrs Binner said: "Simon believes very strongly that it should be his legal right, he doesn't want to go to hospital, there is nothing hospitals can do for us apart from a bit of occupational therapy.

"He doesn't want to go to Switzerland and he doesn't want to go into a hospital. He wants to be at home as much as possible with his friends and family.

"And I think the most important thing to say is that Simon believes if that was available in the UK he may well want to stay alive longer. Christmas would be lovely for us to have Simon."

Simon, his speech slurred because of his condition, said: "I don't want to go to Switzerland either. I want to be here for Christmas but I can't be because I don't know. I have to go."

His wife adds: "He feels he has to go at a time when he is able to walk on to the plane and do that bit himself.

"If it was available here I suspect it would be a day where you wake up and think actually today is the day I don't think I can go on so much, which feels a lot more compassionate and a lot more gentle for everybody involved and less traumatic."

British Humanist Association (BHA) chief executive Andrew Copson said Mr Binner's story highlighted the need to change the law on assisted dying.

He said: "The tragedy at the heart of Simon's story is that if the law allowed people with incurable and terminal conditions to seek a doctor-assisted death in this country, he and others like him would have more time to spend with their loved ones before their conditions became intolerable for them.

"The current law heaps unnecessary suffering and trauma on to families like the Binners. Our thoughts of course continue to be with them at this difficult time.

"We continue to support a change in the law for those who are terminally and incurably suffering to end their lives, provided they have made a rational, committed, and uncoerced decision to do so, just as Simon has made for himself."

Motor neurone disease is a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system, leading to muscle weakness and often visible wasting.

Those who suffer from it find it difficult to walk, speak, swallow and breathe and eventually the person may become unable to move.

There are about 5,000 people living with the condition in the UK, according to the NHS.

There is no known cure for the condition.

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