A High Court judge allowed a locked-in syndrome victim in the UK to proceed with his right-to-die plea to end his life legally.
Tony Nicklinson (57), who suffering from locked-in syndrome, approached the court seeking the right to die and also protection for a doctor who ends his life from any murder charge.
Nicklinson from Melksham, a sports enthusiast and businessman, suffered a massive stroke in 2005, which paralyzed his body below the neck. A patient with the medical situation called locked-in syndrome cannot move any part of the body except eyes. But the patient's mind will be intact.
Nicklinson can communicate only through a voice synthesizer connected to a computer or electronic board that can register and process blinking. Nicklinson had moved to court saying he wants to end his miserable, intolerable and undignified life lawfully through the assistance of a doctor.
Nicklinson, father of two, has communicated to the Guardian that he believes that his dignity is compromised as he is unable to do anything with his body and has to depend on others for every personal need, which is intolerable to him. He wants to be allowed to die as there is no hope that he will be cured.
The Ministry of Justice objected to the plea and argued that only parliament could change the law on murder.
David Perry QC, representing the Ministry of Justice, told the High Court that Nicklinson is saying the court should positively authorize and permit as lawful the deliberate taking of his life, that is not, and cannot be, the law of England and Wales unless Parliament were to say otherwise , according to a BBC report.
The case of Nicklinson is not limited to an assisted suicide case. Because of his medical situation, he cannot kill himself even with assistance. He will have to be killed by a medic that makes it a murder than suicide.
According to the current laws, the doctor who helps him die will have to face murder charges.
The first of its kind case once again has brought alive the debate on a person's right to stop living. Nicklinson's fate will be decided by the court after hearing the case.