Saturday 10 December 2016

Terminally ill husband of former Sky News presenter uses social media to announce date of his own death next week

Kate Ferguson

Published 16/10/2015 | 20:41

Simon Binner
Simon Binner

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.

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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."

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