Tang Siu-pun, whose high-profile appeal for euthanasia to be legalised in 2003 raised public awareness of the subject, has died at the age of 43.
The quadriplegic, popularly known by locals as Ah Bun, died on Sunday morning of septicaemia, or blood poisoning, at Caritas Medical Centre, where he was admitted on Friday, according to reports.
Hospital Authority chairman Anthony Wu Ting-yuk praised Tang for his courage and offered his condolences to Tang’s family. “Hong Kong people should learn from his positive attitude and we are proud of him.”
Tang became paralysed from the neck down in 1991 after injuring his spine in a gymnastics accident.
In 2003, he asked former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa for euthanasia to be legalised so he could end his life voluntarily. The request was rejected but his case raised public awareness of euthanasia and the lives of terminally ill patients.
In 2007, he wrote a book I Want Euthanasia, in which he argued for the right to die in peace and with dignity.
Two years ago, he left Queen Mary Hospital and moved into a flat in Sham Shui Po. He lived on social security, donations and income from a column he wrote for a newspaper.