Tony Nicklinson survived only days after the high court refused his plea for medical help to commit suicide and his death can only be described as a merciful deliverance.
But the heart-rending entreaties of his family, his determination to appeal and, above all, his own anguished response to the judgment will long outlive him. Nor is his predicament – a stroke left him with a life that, in his view, was not worth living but also unable to end it – unique. As more people live longer, demands for quality, as well as quantity, of life are growing.
The judge in Mr Nicklinson's case ruled, as have others before him, that it was not for the courts to legalise euthanasia, which is what granting his plea would have meant. Only Parliament can change the law. This harrowing case should impel MPs to enact a Nicklinson's Law, giving others the legal option he craved.