Tony Nicklinson – locked-in syndrome man appeals to High Court

This 58 year old victim of locked-in-syndrome attempted to get the high court to allow a doctor to help him die
Tony Nicklinson suffered a stroke in 2005 which left him paralysed from the neck down. He could not move any of his limbs or even speak without the aid of a computer.There was no chance that his condition would improve. There is no cure for his illness and he faced a life of pain and increasing problems as he became older.
He therefore decided that he wanted to die, but he was not physically able to commit suicide. Even if he made the journey to the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland, he would not have been able himself to drink the fatal dose himself.
What he was seeking from the high court was to be allowed to die and to obtain for whoever helped him achieve this, freedom from prosecution. By law if a doctor gave him the drug to kill him, this would be classed not as assisted suicide, but murder.
The issue surrounding this case is euthanasia – the right to die. In this respect Tony Nicklinson was different from Debbie Purdy, Dr Anne Turner, Daniel James and a host of other people who have ended their lives. He was also different from many of them in as much as he was not terminally ill. Despite his condition he could remain alive for years, but as he claimed it would be a “life of increasing misery.”
Tony Nicklinson began refusing food in August 2012 and died shortly before the end of the month.

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