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Lyn Owens Ward from Sevenoaks puts weight behind Dignity in Dying campaign

By Natalie Tipping

A grieving woman is throwing her weight behind a campaign for assisted dying in memory of her mother.

Lyn Owens Ward is encouraging others to join a new group, which supports Dignity in Dying, a movement calling for terminally ill people to be allowed to choose to end their own life.

The 57-year-old, from Sevenoaks, was inspired to join this fight by her mother, Edna.

Lyn Owens Ward (right) with her mum Edna Owens.
Lyn Owens Ward (right) with her mum Edna Owens.

Having lived a full life, she moved into an annexe of her son’s Nottinghamshire house when her health deteriorated.

It was over the last six months of her life when she needed full-time nursing care that she really yearned for a way to end her suffering.

“She was an extremely proud and independent woman. She lived through two world
wars, and was in the women’s land army in the Second World War,” her daughter explained.

“Tragically, we could do nothing to help her. She was a truly inspiring mother and grandmother; we often described her as a force of nature.”

Mrs Owens died in July 2015, aged 99.

Previously, the family of Cranbrook rugby player Tony Nicklinson campaigned for the same rights, after he was left paralysed from the neck down following
a stroke.

Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane. Picture: SWNS.COM
Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane. Picture: SWNS.COM

The 58-year-old suffered from locked-in syndrome, which meant he was unable speak and could only move his head and blink.

The Goudhurst man, who had played rugby as a youngster, generated worldwide media attention with his fight to get doctors to legally kill him.

He lost his high court battle and died in August 2012.

His widow, Jane, has been a long-term campaigner for assisted dying in his memory.

Fran Hall, campaigner support officer at Dignity in Dying, said: “We believe everyone
has the right to die with dignity and have choice and control at the end of life, but sadly this is not the case for terminally ill people in this country.

“If you agree this is unacceptable, please join us.”

n To find out more,
including about the new group in Sevenoaks, go to dignityindying.org.uk

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