“Locked In” Decision Is In From The High Court
by Hermione Avila - Paralegal
22 August 2012, filed under Personal Injury
A High Court Judge made a devastating decision for Tony Nicklinson and other locked in syndrome sufferers on 16 August 2012. Mr Nicklinson had been appealing for his right to die a dignified death surrounded by his friends and family in his own home. Whilst Mr Nicklinson could travel to one of the countries or American states who currently allow assisted suicide, Mr Nicklinson was campaigning for his right to die in the comfort of his own home with his family by his side.
Tony Nicklinson was an active man up until a business trip in 2005 to Athens resulted in a very serious stroke. The consequences of this stroke were devastating to the whole Nicklinson family. Following the stroke Mr Nicklinson has been unable to move from the neck down and speech is also impossible for him. He can only communicate with the use of a computer that can interpret his eye movements and gestures. The condition is described as “locked-in syndrome” as the sufferer has full use of their mental faculties and therefore are trapped inside a body they cannot control. Mr Nicklinson is therefore fully aware of his condition. After seven years of needing complete round the clock care, he has decided that when the time comes that he does not want to continue living he be allowed to die at home.
Mr Nicklinson has been fighting for two years to convince three High Court judges that any doctor who helps him to die will be immune from prosecution. Unfortunately for Mr Nicklinson the High Court have ruled that voluntary euthanasia will still be counted as murder. Therefore, any doctor that assists Mr Nicklinson in his suicide will be prosecuted.
Mr Nicklinson, who describes his life as a life of “increasing indignity and misery” plans to appeal the decision.
If you suffer from any physical condition that was not your fault, you might be entitled to compensation for your injury. Legal Centre’s personal injury section has further information you may find helpful, click here to read, and look out for other news items about personal injury.
Since this article was written we have been notified of the sad news of Mr Nicklinson’s death aged 58. We all wish his family our condolences. Rest in Peace.
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