A disabled grandfather and right-to-die campaigner has lost his fight for life.
Gordon Ross, 67, who suffered several medical issues including Parkinson’s disease, had been fighting a legal battle in a bid to force the Lord Advocate to publish guidance on assisted suicide.
He was taken to hospital two weeks ago with pneumonia and died as a result of that, and his other medical issues, in hospital in Glasgow at around midnight on Tuesday.
The former TV producer has long been a campaigner for the right-to-die, supporting the recent Assisted Suicide (Scotland) Bill.
His death was confirmed by the Humanist Society Scotland (HSS), of which he used to be treasurer, on Wednesday morning.
In May 2015, Mr Ross unsuccessfully tried to launch a Judicial Review calling for the Lord Advocate to bring forward prosecution guidance to provide greater clarity of what charges might be brought an individual who assists someone who is terminally ill and unable to take their own life to commit suicide.
In December 2015 he launched an appeal at the Court of Session to overturn this decision.
On Tuesday a three-judge panel at the Court of Session in Edinburgh will hear the appeal of Gordon Ross who is seeking an order to clarify the legal position regarding his right to die.
Former HSS chair and close friend, Leslie Mitchell, said: “Gordon Ross played a crucial role in the development of HSS, considerably more than his role as Treasurer would suggest.
“He helped to grow the society from a small group of like-minded individuals into the large professional campaigning organisation we are today.
“Gordon was an incredibly kind and generous man, always ready to stand-up for the rights of others, and modest about his own significant achievements. Gordon was motivated by his desire to promote a rational, ethical and secular Scotland.
“He remained active and engaged throughout his illness, and played a key role in Scotland’s national debate around assisted suicide. I was proud to call Gordon a friend, and will miss him immensely.”
HSS chief executive Gordon MacRae said: “We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Gordons death. Our thoughts are with his family and close friends at this difficult time.
“Towards the end of his life, Gordon faced significant challenges with his health, despite this he resolved to play a significant part in the public debate in Scotland around the right-to-die.
“Gordon made a significant contribution to Humanist Society Scotland, and he will be sadly missed by our members. HSS will pay tribute to Gordon in the best way that we can; by continuing his fight for both clarity in the current law, and eventual reform of the law to allow people who wish it the right to die with compassion and dignity.
“HSS understands that Mr Ross has opted to donate his brain to Parkinson’s disease research. Funeral arrangements will be announced in due course.”