Leading article: Tony Nicklinson deserves the right to die

 

Wednesday 20 June 2012 19:22
Comments

It is impossible not to be moved by the details of Tony Nicklinson's life, as revealed in the High Court this week. Paralysed by a stroke in 2005, the former businessman is locked inside his malfunctioning body and able to communicate only by blinking. With no hope of release, he wants to take his own life – but is too disabled to do so.

Mr Nicklinson is asking two things of the court. He wants any doctor who enables him to die to be able to cite the common-law defence of "necessity" if subsequently arrested. And he wants the law forbidding assisted suicide declared incompatible with his rights of autonomy and dignity under the European Convention of Human Rights.

Few lawyers expect him to succeed. But concern at the dangers of a new precedent must come second to the inhumanity of condemning a person to so intolerable an existence. Mr Nicklinson must be allowed to make his choice.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

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

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in