A proposed change to the law, the Assisted Dying Bill, was debated in the House of Lords last month (Image: Getty)
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Ray, 89, is undergoing radiotherapy for esophageal cancer. He says his views on being allowed to choose when to end his life have been shaped by his wife Shirley’s battle. Ray, who captained and coached England, has so far had two doses of radiotherapy. He hopes to learn in the coming days that the tumour is shrinking. He said: “They got rid of a lot of the tumour but there were still two centimetres left, originally it was eight.
“They are just hoping to get rid of the last bit with extra double doses. I will see how these next two doses go, keep my fingers crossed and hope I have a bit of luck.”
Ray’s wife passed away in March after a long battle with cancer. Having nursed her through her final years, he has become convinced that terminally ill patients should have the choice to end their lives.
The government of Jersey last week approved in principle legalised suicide and a draft law could be voted on by 2023. But under the 1961 Suicide Act anyone helping someone else take their own life in England could face a 14-year jail term. A proposed change to the law, the Assisted Dying Bill, was debated in the House of Lords last month.
Ray said: “I don’t want to have the last 12 months that my wife had. She had a terrible time going from hospital to hospital and in pain. I would rather go peacefully. I believe in assisted dying. The way my wife was, there was no pleasure in life in the last 12 months and I don’t see the point of living like that, to be honest.
“But we don’t have assisted dying in England yet so you don’t have the option do you? They are debating it and I think it will come eventually.”
The Yorkshire and Leicestershire all-rounder played 61 Tests for England from 1958 until 1973, captaining the side on 31 occasions.
Ray, who lives in his native Leeds, has been shocked by the racism scandal that has engulfed his home county in recent weeks. He said: “Racism and abuse has no place in any walk of life, let alone the sporting community.”
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