Tony Nicklinson’s Right to Die……

18 Jun

Tomorrow Tony Nicklinson will take his case to the High Court. He suffers from Locked in Syndrome as the result of a stroke. What this means for Tony is although his mind is completely ok, he has no control over his body and can only communicate through eye movements and with the help of a computer voice synthesiser.

Tony is clearly an intelligent man and makes his point eloquently. His argument is simple. If he were physically able he could take his own life. This is not a crime under UK law. However, as this is not an option for Tony he wants the court to recognise his desire to die and have someone assist him without fear from prosecution. As the law stands, anybody who assisted Tony could be charged with murder.

There are many arguments against a move towards allowing a third party to assist in a suicide. Some are perfectly valid. One of the most common is the view that the person requesting help may feel pressured into doing so because they feel they are a burden on family and carers. I agree that this is a possibility but in all of these unfortunate cases there is no black and white, only shades of grey.

As a civilised society I believe checks and balances could be put in place to assess each case on its merits and a judicial review could provide protection for vulnerable people who may feel pressured to end their lives for the benefit of others.

The sanctity of life has to be detached from religion. It is the choice of the individual whether they choose to live or die. I only hope Tony and his family can make the court see sense and free the unfortunate people who have to endure misery simply because they cannot perform an act as simple as raising a cup to their mouth, when those who can have the choice.

I wish Tony and his family the very best for tomorrow. Should the outcome not go in Tony’s favour, please join me in creating an ePetition to call for a debate in parliament.

Follow Tony on Twitter with the hash tag #Tony……

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