A man left paralysed from the neck down after suffering a stroke, will today begin a high court battle to be allowed the ‘right to die.’
Tony Nicklinson, 57, from Wiltshire, has ‘locked-in syndrome’ which means he is almost totally paralysed, but not in a vegetative state.
And today he will attempt to challenge the laws on ‘assisted dying,’ seeking a declaration that any doctor terminating his life will have a "common law defence of necessity" against any possible murder charge.
The former rugby player who is married with two children, suffered a stroke in 2005 that left him able only to move his head and eyes.
His lawyers say he is mentally competent, and he communicates by blinking, but he is unable to move at all, and is totally dependent on carers even needing to be fed liquidised food.
As such, he is unable to take his own life, and wants the courts to rule that any doctor who effectively kills him by administering lethal drugs, will not be prosecuted.
The court bid is different to previous applications concerning ‘assisted suicide’ which has previously been ruled as having mitigating factors for people who take part in it.
He has previously said: "What I have to look forward to is a wretched ending with uncertainty, pain and suffering whilst my family watch on helplessly.
"Why must I suffer these indignities? If I were able-bodied I could put an end to my life when I want to. Why is life so cruel?"
Speaking to Christian.co.uk Rev James Woodward, a member of the Comission on Assisted Dying recently admitted that Christians have conflicted feelings about the subject:
“The predominant view by the churches and faith leaders is changing the law [on assisted dying] is not the right thing to do. But my experience…is that there are many Christians who don’t take church leader’s line that assisted dying is wrong from a Christian perspective and have argued very forcibly and coherently that helping someone to die is an act of compassion, and a perfectly morally action for Christians to take.”
January 23rd, 2012 - Posted & Written by Simon Cross