My right to choose when I die: Tony Nicklinson in his own words

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The Independent Online

I need help in almost every aspect of my life. I cannot scratch if I itch, I cannot pick my nose if it is blocked and I can eat only if I am fed like a baby – only I won't grow out of it. I have no privacy or dignity left. I am washed, dressed and put to bed by carers who are, after all, still strangers. You try defecating to order while suspended in a sling over a commode and see how you get on.

I am fed up with my life and don't want to spend the next 20 years or so like this. Am I grateful that the Athens doctors saved my life? No, I am not. If I had my time again, and knew then what I know now, I would not have called the ambulance.

I was given no choice as to whether or not I wanted to be saved. What I object to is having my right to choose taken away from me after I had been saved. If my right to choose life or death at the time of initial crisis is reasonably taken away, it is only fair to have the right to choose back when one gets over the initial crisis.

If I am lucky I will acquire a life-threatening illness such as cancer so that I can refuse treatment and say no to those who would keep me alive against my will. By all means protect the vulnerable. By vulnerable I mean those who cannot make decisions for themselves – just don't include me.