A heartbroken widow who was investigated by police for supporting her husband’s wish to die at Dignitas in Switzerland has launched a campaign calling for a change in the law.

Chalfont St Peter resident Ann Whaley was interviewed under caution in February this year after police were anonymously tipped off about of her plan to accompany her terminally ill husband Geoffrey, 80, to Dignitas.

Geoffrey was diagnosed with motor neurone disease, an incurable, terminal illness, in December 2016.

In December 2018 he was given a prognosis of six to nine months. He had lost the use of both legs and arms and was beginning to lose his ability to speak, breathe and swallow.

In order to avoid the final weeks of suffering and a traumatic death, Geoffrey set about organising an assisted death at Dignitas in Switzerland – a process that took several months and cost the family over £11,000.

In January 2019, Geoffrey lost the use of his hands and instructed his wife to book their flights and accommodation.

Ann is now leading Acts of Love, a new campaign featuring more than 30 relatives and friends from across the country.

She has written an open letter to MPs and peers and will meet Justice Secretary David Gauke next month to ask the government to examine problems with the law.

Ann will be urging Mr Gauke to look at the dreadful consequences that the current law on assisted dying is causing for families like hers.

The campaign was launched this week as Lord Sumption’s first Reith lecture was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

At its recording, Ann asked the former Supreme Court judge for his views on the current law, to which he replied “I think that the law should continue to criminalise assisted suicide, and I think that the law should be broken from time to time… That is an untidy compromise few lawyers would adopt but I don’t believe there’s a moral obligation to obey the law. Ultimately it’s for each person to decide”.

Ann has written an open letter to all MPs urging them to listen to the Reith lecture broadcast and to support Acts of Love.

She said: “Lord Sumption’s comments show complete unawareness of the reality faced by families like mine.

“We were fortunate enough to have the money to help Geoffrey get his final wish to die on his own terms, but many in this country are not so lucky.

“We also had to say goodbye before we were ready as Geoffrey feared he was losing the strength to travel. When the police got involved, our world fell apart.

“I was made to feel like a criminal for acting out of love and this has spurred me on to launch this campaign with Dignity in Dying.

“I am delighted that David Gauke has agreed to meet me to discuss these issues and I am encouraged by his support for my family’s plight.

“Compassion is not a crime and the current law cannot be allowed to continue as it is – that is my message to him and to all MPs.”

Although the police investigation into Ann was dropped days before their scheduled trip to Switzerland, it could be reopened if new evidence came to light.

Assisted dying is prohibited in England and Wales under the Suicide Act (1961), and in Northern Ireland under the Criminal Justice Act (1966) which states that anyone who "encourages or assists a suicide" is liable to up to 14 years in prison.