TENBURY businessman John King has set his own appointment with death.

The 77-year-old, who lives at Sutton, has meticulously planned how he will kill himself to end his suffering nearly three years after being diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

He has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the wasting illness that is always incurable and progressive.

Mr King hopes that by doing this his legacy will be to help to bring about a cure for the disease that progressively kills the mechanism that allows the brain to communicate with the muscles.

“I have just had enough,” said Mr King, who is well known throughout Ludlow and the Marches, is a former adviser to the Chamber of Commerce in Hereford, a former business columnist on the Hereford Times and was until a few weeks ago was supporting students at the University of Worcester, where he was Entrepreneur in Residence. He was chair of Young Enterprise in Herefordshire for many years.

Mr King supports Tenbury MP Harriett Baldwin and former health minister and Ludlow MP Philip Dunne in not wanting a change to the law to legalise assisted suicide.

“I believe that this would make people vulnerable to pressure,” Mr King said.

Mr King has been taken to a health facility that he has not named.

He will be made comfortable and relaxed and at a time of his choosing says that he will remove the mask that he needs to breathe.

Instructions not to attempt to resuscitate him have been signed.

The advice is that he may die in as little as two minutes after removing the mask and half an hour at most.

“Believe me, I have thought about this constantly over the last six months or so.

“I spend hours thinking and debating this question over and over in my head, night after night as I spend the 12 or 13 hours that I am forced to spend in my bed, between the carers getting me out of bed each morning and putting me back into bed each night.

“There are times during the day when I could easily pull the trigger, as I struggle with exhaustion and fatigue after going to the toilet as an example. The draining of whatever energy I had prior to the visit, makes me wish that I were dead, by the time that I have finished.

“It takes away your ability to be independent. It takes away all your muscles, because the neurones that transmit and pass messages to your muscles die, and thereby your muscles die with them. It is a very cruel and debilitating disease. You become locked within your own body, unable to do anything for yourself.

“I am sure that some will say, that only ‘God’ has the right to call us to his side.

“If that was the case, then I wouldn’t be here today, because as much as I have a do not resuscitate in place and have expressed my wish ‘not to have outside intervention’ to keep me alive, I have lived a lie for the last 12 months.

“Why? Because I have had to use a machine 24 hours a day, to provide me with air so that I can receive the oxygen from that air. I have had to accept nutrition 24 hours a day artificially, to provide the calories too support my body’s functions. All against my express wishes, but of my choosing.

“So now I have decided that enough is enough! I am going to take off my mask and accept the inevitable conclusion of that action”.

Tenbury MP Harriett Baldwin says that, like Mr King, she is against making assisted suicide lawful as it places a burden on others.

“I fully accept that suicide, assisting or encouraging suicide, assisted dying and euthanasia are all subjects on which it is entirely possible for people to hold widely different but defensible opinions,” said Mrs Baldwin.

“I want to do this now whilst I still have the strength to remove the mask myself,” said Mr King, who lost his first wife to cancer and has himself had prostate cancer. He says his present wife Elaine; two daughters and grandson understand.