An 85-year-old man with terminal cancer is begging MPs to legalise assisted dying so he can die peacefully at home with his family by his side.

Tim Wardle has looked into booking into Dignitas in Switzerland but can't afford the fees.

He supports Dame Esther Rantzen's campaign for a parliamentary debate and a free vote on the issue before the next election.

The retired architect from Kingsteignton was first diagnosed with cancer 14 years ago and has since had bladder, prostate and lung cancer.

Last year, doctors told him that he would be likely to die in December 2022 saying it was a question of "weeks not months" but he has survived despite the odds - which he puts down to “obstinacy”.

He now has kidney cancer, and says his ideal death would be “an injection with my wife and son here” - and has told nurses he "will actually end my life one way or another".

The health and social care committee (HSCC) launched its inquiry eight months ago has now released a report on the issue.

The committee has been criticised by campaigns for not making any recommendations for parliament to vote on the issue.

The grandfather-of-one said: "I have filled out all the forms currently available to not be resuscitated and not receiving basic treatment for anything.

"I have told palliative care nurses with our local hospice and my GP, that if the time comes and I'm physically capable of it, I will actually end my life one way or another.

Tim's mother and his younger sisters died after suffering long and painful cancer-related deaths. he said.

He said, “I decided at that time that I didn't want anybody that I knew, or anybody full stop, to have to go through that at the end of their life.

Tim Wardle cannot afford to use the Dignitas clinic (Daniel Dayment / SWNS)

“I decided that I would assist anybody who was advocating for assisted dying.

"I don't believe that it should be limited to people who are terminally ill - I believe it should be auto-available for people whose quality of life has become intolerable.”

Tim now sees any attempt to operate on him as a “theft of NHS resources” and says he would not survive the operation in any case.

The conversation about his death with family members went “very easily”, he says.

“I think my son was more receptive to the idea than my wife but it wasn’t a difficult conversation at all," he said.

His wife and son “will be sad”, he says, but added: "I talked it over with them and they both understand and agree with what I’ve decided I want to do.

“They both agree with what I want and what I believe in.

"For obvious reasons as the law stands moment, they can't help me in any way and they will be sorry to see me go. But death is inevitable.

“I believe very strongly that the majority of the people, certainly those who come in contact with motor neurone disease or cancer or various other killer diseases would support assisted dying.

“Most people don't think about death in their younger life, which is why so many people die without a will. I think that's a wrong way round of looking at it.

"We all know at a fairly early age, that at some stage, we are going to die. It's like taxes, it's inevitable. And so, one needs to plan for it.”

“All I would say is that people have to plan earlier and not leave it to the last minute and hope it doesn't happen to me.”

He argues that the current law should be changed to allow people to be given the right to die when they are suffering.

He protests against the current inequality between “people who have money and can afford to go to Dignitas against people like myself who can’t afford to go”.

He has contemplated travelling to Dignitas, but says that he couldn't afford to fee and would rather be with his wife and son at the time of his death.

He says that if assisted dying is not legalised in the UK he will choose to end his own life when the pain becomes unbearable, either with "drugs or poison".

He is currently on borrowed time, he says, after doctors predicted he would die within weeks last year.

Nathan Stilwell, assisted dying campaigner for Humanists UK, said: "Personal stories from around the UK show the scale of unbearable suffering some people face at the end of their lives.

"It's sickening that we force people into these unbearable situations when we know countries like Switzerland, Belgium and the Netherlands have had working, safe and compassionate assisted dying laws for decades.

"Adults of sound mind who are intolerably suffering from an incurable, physical condition, and have a clear and settled wish to die, should have the option of an assisted death."