THE Swiss clinic which assisted Liverpool motor neurone sufferer Reg Crew to commit suicide is considering opening offices in the UK. Dignitas, currently based in Zurich, may open a UK base to provide the public with information into the work they do.
The clinic is run by Ludwig Minelli and offers "dying preparation, dying company and free death assistance".
A spokesman for the Voluntary Euthanasia Society said Dignitas had opened an office in Hamburg, Germany, to provide information on the debate about assisted death.
He added: "What they are now saying is, if there's a demand for something similar in the UK, they would be prepared to discuss opening an office in the UK."
The move was last night welcomed by Mr Crew's widow, Wyn, from Hunts Cross, who said she was sought out by people who wanted to know more about the clinic.
She said: "People ring me all the time to ask me where the place is and find out more, but I can't say too much, because I could get into trouble. "I am hoping the law will change so people like my husband do not have to leave the country to die.
"My husband's life was hell. He wanted to end it and she should have been able to do it in his own country. "But I imagine, if an office does open here, it will cause a bit of a furore."
Mrs Crew, who has been campaigning for a change in the law since her husband's death, is in London today to hear Lord Joffe's bill on assisted dying debated in the House of Lords.
Lord Joffe has said he is considering amending his proposals to allow doctors to prescribe drugs for the patients to take themselves, but not directly administer the medication.
The 73-year-old cross bencher said: "I'm thinking of limiting the bill to physician-assisted suicide and not seeking for it to include voluntary euthanasia, but I haven't made a final decision on that.
"It limits the pressure on the patient, it's up to the patient - they're given the prescription and its up to them whether they take it," the peer added.
But last night Mrs Crew said the amendment would be no use to people suffering like her husband.
She said: "My husband had no use of his arms and legs. At the end, he could not even hold his head up.
"He would not be able to administer the drugs himself and lots of other people with motor neurone disease would not either.
"We are talking about very sick people who cannot help themselves."
Lord Joffe's proposed amendments follow opposition by leading churchmen to voluntary euthanasia.
In an article written for a Sunday newspaper, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams described how he sat by the bedside of his mother, Nancy, during her final months of dementia.
But, despite this experience, he said he was against assisted dying "chiefly on the grounds of my religious commitments - the conviction that life is a gift from God that we cannot treat as a possession of our own to keep or throw away as we choose...".
But Mrs Crew, who debated the issue with the Archbishop of Cardiff on Radio 4 this weekend, said she believed people had the right to die with dignity.
She said: "If these religious people were having a heart attack would they say 'it was God deciding?' No,, they would want to be brought round artificially.
"You have to have lived with someone in that position to know what it's like."