Debbie Purdie has died

Very sad news. Debbie Purdie the woman who campaigned for assisted suicide has died.

She had PPMS but it she chose to stop eating when she decided not to go on. She died in a hospice.

Rest in Peace Debbie Purdie. You were a remarkable woman.

This is of course very hard news for all of us with progressive MS.

Once again it is very important to remember that MS is different for all of us. And how we choose to cope with it is different for all of us.

If you find this news very upsetting, please post and tell us. We are all here to support each other.

Love to all,

Pat xx


A brave lady, my thoughts are with her husband And family.

Jan x


That is sad news Pat, such a brave woman, R.I.P Debbie.

Pam x


Such a remarkable lady,her suffering is no more,may she rest in peace,it sickens me that this day and age people have to suffer like they do,

they dont let animals suffer SO why do humans…when life gets so unbearable,through a progressive illness ,we should have choices…RIP Debbie

J x


I am beyond saddened that this lady felt that this was the only route open to her. I am sure that Debbie is at peace now, and I hope that comforts her family as they must feel the loss terribly.

i feel bad that it is only since becoming ill that I have learnt any concept of the depth of pain and what it can do to a person. Then as i chastise myself I think well we only know what we know…yeah?

Im afraid I agree with MrsJ that when things get to a point we should have some control.

I can’t believe how brave she was to choose the way she chose to die I would not have that courage, even at the end she showed how inhumane the system is. what an inspirational lady who lived 20 years with a progressive illness.

total respect xxx


Yes, she was brave, but very selfish, she choose to stave herself rather than, what, a life in a wheelchair, in a bed, why did she not enjoy what she had, instead of her woe is me, and campaigning to change a law to cover her husband, how bad is life if we, who have PPMS, give up, after darkness comes a brand new day, just to give up on life just because we have to make changes to it, is morally wrong. Let us enjoy what we have, not what we have lost, Brian


I have put this on EL board too,and i was just wondering that if Debbie had,had children and grandchildren if she would have fought harder to stay alive,who knows… i know that my son and daughter and nearly 2 yr old grandaughter give me the strength i need to stay around for as long as i possibly can…when i start to feel really ill,i think of them and how much they need me to be here,even though i am housebound i still have a quality of life…but i still do feel strongly that if things get too much we should be allowed to die with dignity…we dont know just HOW bad her life was,only she did.

J x


I feel very conflicted by the way she chose to die.

On the one hand I see a brave woman who wanted to change the law and to have the right to die on her own terms… and then she did choose to die by refusing to eat.

On the other hand I agree with Brian (corrie) that she chose to die when in fact she could have still had a life and many many people continue to enjoy life with disability and with severe symptoms of MS.

I also think that was a terrible thing to put her family though… watching her starve to death. I can’t get my head round that.

It’s good that Brian has opened up this discussion. It can be seen that she was selfish to die as she did.

What do you think?

Pat xx


Pat i feel like you,i have mixed feelings,but like i have said ONLY Debbie knew how bad things were for her.

J x


That’s very true Mrs J.

Pat xx

I think we are all different, what is bearable to one can be unbearable to another. What one person views as a challenge can be something another sees as something they can no longer do. One person will get in their wheelchair and look on it as a success because they can still get about outside, another will see it as a reminder they can no longer walk and will feel trapped and humiliated.

I could go on with comparisons, what im I think I’m trying to say is, ultimately we should have a choice and I believe that this is what this lady did, she chose to die. What she fought for was to do it with dignity, unfortunately the law of this land made her starve herself to death.

I refuse to look on her death as the suicide of someone who gave up, I look on it as the choice of someone who made a decision about her circumstances.

I understand all the arguments for and against assisted death, I understand the need to protect vulnerable people, a wish for 2015, someone finds an acceptable answer to both.

Jan x


Hello, as regards to Debbie Purdey and assisted suicide, I can’t speak for or against the why she choose this route, but questions must be asked, did she give up life because, 1) of her disability altered her way of life, 2) was she in constant pain, 3) she was a drain on her family and money. Assisted suicide will, in time, become law no doubt, but certain aspects must be adhered too, the patient should be in constant pain or a vegetable state, only alive due to machines, not if a patient just wants to end their live because of changed circumstances, Brian

1 Like

I agree with Pat; the whole starvation thing makes me feel very uneasy.

And has anyone else felt slightly strange about PPMS suddenly being headline news? (I don’t wish to resurrrect ‘that thread’, but at least it draws attention to us 10% ers for a change!)

I’ve already had several messages along the lines of ‘thinking of you’ from people I haven’t seen/spoken to in ages. Not entirely sure how to respond.

1 Like

CP I came on the forum to make same point and glad it’s not just me.

How do our families feel hearing this in the news… and how do the rest of our MS community feel?

It does make me feel uncomfortable. I feel I need to tell my family that I have absolutely NO desire to die. Far from it. I’m happy with my life despite MS.

We all know that all our family members and our friends are thinking of us when the hear this news… esp when it says ‘primary progressive multiple sclerosis’.

It has brought up all sorts of emotions… and I have to admit to wondering WHY she felt this was her only choice??? Although as Mrs J says we do not know what she was dealing with.

How does this feel for people recently dx with PPMS or waiting for dx?

I almost resent the message this has put out to the public and to the MS community… but at same time feel that of course this was her personal decision and we have no right to question it.

Extremely difficult mix of emotions.

Pat xx

1 Like

I agree with you all…so very sad that she felt the need to do this and I can’t help but feel for her poor husband who had to watch her die so slowly. It’s beyond my imagination to understand how much she must have suffered during that time. I do believe people should have the right to choose but I recognise that in itself brings further problems.

Despite constant pain I couldn’t do that to my family… I think Mrs J you are right, my son and Grandchildren give me so much joy. Yes, life with progressive MS is far from normal but we learn to cope as best we can and find joy in the little things.

My heart goes out to her poor husband.

Nina x

1 Like

I was unaware of this, but thank you for raising the issue, Pat. I have been so low lately, with so many anxieties, that I have opened negotiations with myself, if you know what I mean, about possible escape routes.

Don’t worry, I am not suicidal, but this is the first time I have allowed myself to examine the question. The conclusion is, of course, wait for the mood to lift. It will. Although I don’t have children I have a loving and totally supportive wife, likewise a sister and one surviving parent. I owe to them and to myself to soldier on.

i think Debbie Purdie’s chosen course is astonishingly brave, sad and distressing all at the same time. Rest in peace.


Not sure how i feel about this apart from she exercised her personal choice, may she R.I.P,.

Pauline x


I was rather depressed when I heard of Debbie’s death, I would not have got all the info I needed had it not been for Pat () I will continue to wobble and joke my way through life WHY? Because I can…

This forum is wonderful wishing everyone joy, peace and love - getting soppy in my old age? M


Like so many of you I have mixed feelings on assisted suicide. I can see both sides of the argument. On one hand it can be classed as humane, not letting people suffer needlessly. On the other hand it is opening a door to something that can be abused with people not wanting to be a burden or people with illnesses like depression having their human rights acknowledged.

I’ve had suicidal thoughts in the past but my family and friends mean too much to me to act on it. Debbie was obviously very unhappy or suffering and I feel sorry for her having to go to the lengths she did to end her life. All I can say is that I hope she’s at peace now and that her family and friends see that she isn’t suffering and has got her wish rather than being upset at what some see as selfishness.

I’m glad we have resources like this forum available to us where support is available, both emotional and with physical problems and we have other resources like OT’s and ms nurses available. I think we are all very different and what some of us see as a challenge others might see as hell.

I take my hat off to her though for her determination to bring this debate to parliament. She’s fought a lot harder for something she believes in than I imagine I could ever cope with doing. The stress she’s been through would probably have worn me right down. I think she deserves to rest in peace.

Take care.

Cath xx


R.I.P Debbie Purdie,

Not sure if I agree with what she did. To be honest I’m a bit unnerved by it all.

At the moment I have too much to live for but who knows what the future holds.

My husband is of the opinion we only have one life so don’t give up on it.

I think it’s better just to take each day as it comes and enjoy the moment. And not think too deeply about things.

Mags xx

1 Like