Lord Rix, the Mencap President, who also served as the charity’s secretary general and chairman, had been ill for some time and received 24-hour nursing home care.
Only a few weeks earlier Brian Rix made an impassioned plea and called for a change in the law on assisted dying, so as he put it, he could “be helped on my way" peacefully.
In a letter to the speaker of the House of Lords, Lady D’Souza, Lord Rix wrote:
“My position has changed. As a dying man, who has been dying now for several weeks, I am only too conscious that the laws of this country make it impossible for people like me to be helped on their way, even though the family is supportive of this position and everything that needs to be done has been dealt with."
The Mencap chief executive, Jan Tregelles, said: “Lord Rix was a beloved colleague and friend to so many people with a learning disability and their families. His passion, zeal and humour will be sorely missed. His tireless campaigning has perhaps done more to improve the lives of people with a learning disability than any other.
When Rix’s daughter Shelley was born in 1951 he and his wife Elspet were urged to put her away and forget about her, Tregellles added. “This started a quest lasting over 60 years to make the world a better place for all those with a learning disability.”
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