Right-to-die man — gets the right to a hearing


Tony Nicklinson with his daughter and wife

A high court judge has ruled that the right-to-die case of a man who can only communicate by blinking and wants his “suffering to end” should be allowed to proceed.

Tony Nicklinson, 57, who has locked-in syndrome, wants a doctor to be able to lawfully end his “intolerable” life after suffering a stroke in 2005 which left him able only to communicate by a voice-synthesiser that registers blinking. He launched legal action seeking the right for a doctor to intervene to end his “indignity” and have a “common law defence of necessity” against any murder charge.

His wife, Jane Nicklinson, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, that death is the only way out for her husband. “We are asking for it to be legal for someone to end his life. The only way to relieve Tony’s suffering is to kill him. There’s nothing else that can be done for him,” said the former nurse.

“He can’t do anything. He’s completely paralysed and he can’t speak. If he has an itch I have to scratch it for him,” she said.

She added that he did not want to die immediately but wanted to be able to choose.

“He just wants to know when the time comes he has a way out. It’s what he wants, and we are behind him,” she said. “If you knew the kind of person he was before, life like this is unbearable for him. He realises as he gets older things are going to get worse.”

She added that the law had to change to keep up with advancing medical practice. “Twenty years ago Tony would have died. But people are being kept alive with such terrible conditions. Medical practice has become so much better but the law has not progressed with that. He says now if he had known what life would be like for him now, he would have just laid down and died and would not have called for help.”

I suggest you sign the petition supporting Tony and his wife in his quest for the right to choose death with dignity. The freedom to be assured his wife isn’t prosecuted for aiding his “murder”. Let him make the choice on his own when he wishes.

I want to be able to make the same choice myself given similar circumstances.

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