Proposals to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland could push other parts of the UK to follow suit, says Tony Nicklinson's widow Jane


Andy Philip
Friday 02 November 2012 12:53
Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane
Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane

Proposals to legalise assisted suicide in Scotland could push other parts of the UK to follow suit, according to the widow of right-to-die campaigner Tony Nicklinson.

Jane Nicklinson appeared at a conference in Edinburgh to help publicise a fresh attempt to legislate at the Scottish Parliament.

"People that are in support of changing the law in England might see that if this can happen in Scotland, why can't it happen here too? It can only be a good thing," she said.

She was among a panel of contributors including Ludwig Manelli, founder of Swiss assisted dying organisation Dignitas, as well as Dutch supporters, medical and religious representatives.

Mr Nicklinson died in August days after he lost his High Court battle in England for the right to end his life. The 47-year-old, who refused food in the days following the landmark case, was paralysed by a stroke in 2005.

The attempt to change the law in Scotland is being made by Margo McDonald, an Independent MSP at Holyrood whose first attempt failed in a free vote in 2010.

She hopes to persuade the re-elected SNP Scottish Government and previous opponents to change their minds and get behind revised legislation, due to be formally lodged next spring.

Mrs Nicklinson, 57, from Melksham in Wiltshire, said her campaign was hard.

"The day we went to the court, it was the day Canada legalised it and we hoped that might have some affect on our case, which plainly it didn't," she said after a brief press conference in Edinburgh.

"The more countries do legalise it, in time England will have to follow on.

"You can feel very alone. For a long time we did because no one was willingly supporting us."


Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments