CNK remembers a great advocate, campaigner and friend following his death from cancer on 14 January
Kevin, who would have celebrated his 60th birthday later this month, worked with Care Not Killing over a number of years, and he will be remembered particularly for his work to bring to public attention the reality of legalised euthanasia in Belgium.
He made powerfully the case against euthanasia and assisted suicide on TV, radio and in print around the world and was an enthusiastic and engaging debater and public speaker: truly, a light has gone out in the public face of opposition to uncontrollable, unethical and unnecessary legal change.
Kevin's professional background gave his approach to the debate on how to care for and support people with terminal and incurable illnesses and disabilities a particularly well-rounded quality. From disability (Disability Wales; Disability Rights Commission; Inclusion21; Not Dead Yet UK) to adoption (the Welsh Government's Adoption Expert Advisory Group; St David's Children's Society), not to mention five years with the Welsh Ambulance Trust, Kevin's outlook was firmly rooted in seeking answers to a single question: 'how can we as a society work to support and uphold the value of every person around us?' This was his life's work, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised.
Personally, he knew adversity all too well. For decades before his final battle with cancer, Kevin was a wheelchair user having been paralysed as a young man, an innocent victim of sectarian violence in Belfast. Each battle he fought, however, only strengthened his resolve, and woe betide anyone who suggested 'opponents of euthanasia like him' could not understand the challenges of disability and serious illness.
That he was appointed to establish and lead the new Euthanasia Prevention Coalition Europe was hardly a surprise, and his later work in founding Hope Ireland will be a special legacy. The most recent challenge in Ireland was brought as a court action by MS sufferer Marie Fleming - who Kevin knew when they both taught at Swansea University. He was known to people across the debate, and through his tenacity earned widespread respect and affection.
We will miss his forthright contributions to this debate, but more than that, we will simply miss our dear friend and fellow fighter.
We offer our sincere condolences to Fabienne and all of Kevin's family.