Motor neurone victim is granted right to die

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Indy Lifestyle Online

A 19-year-old victim of motor neurone disease has been granted his wish to be allowed to die when he loses his final means of communication, blinking his left eye.

A 19-year-old victim of motor neurone disease has been granted his wish to be allowed to die when he loses his final means of communication, blinking his left eye.

The teenager indicated by a tiny movement of his eyelid that he wanted his life-support system switched off when he loses his last ability to communicate with the world about him. Once his ability to move his eyelid ends he will still be able to see, hear and feel, but have no means of letting doctors know his wishes or if he is in pain.

Referred to only as AK, the teenager, one of the youngest people to suffer the fatal nerve condition, has asked doctors to wait two weeks to make sure his ability to make contact does not return. Yesterday, a High Court family division judge in London granted doctors a declaration that they will not be acting unlawfully in withdrawing life support from "AK" so his illness can take its inevitable course.

Mr Justice Hughes heard that AK was a normal sports-loving youngster until he contracted the disease in 1998.

After losing his ability to speak and most of his movements, AK's physical abilities were restricted to moving his eyes and operating a computer with his big toe. He then lost eye and toe movement.

His ability to move his left eyelid is expected to end within a few weeks.

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