UK court says euthanasia case can proceed

Nicklinson’s wife,Jane,said the only way to end her husband’s suffering was to kill him

Written by Associated Press | London | Published: March 13, 2012 12:33:35 am

A British judge ruled Monday that the case of a severely disabled man who wants to end his “intolerable’’ life should be allowed to proceed.

Tony Nicklinson,57, from Melksham,Wiltshire,has “locked-in syndrome” following a stroke in 2005 and is unable to carry out his own suicide,BBC reported. “Locked-in syndrome” leaves people with paralysed bodies but fully-functioning minds. He communicates largely by blinking.

In January,he asked the High Court to declare that any doctor who gives him a lethal injection with his consent won’t be charged with murder.

The judge’s ruling now means that Nicklinson’s case will go to a full hearing,where medical evidence can be heard.

The ministry of justice argued that granting Nicklinson’s request would require changing the law on murder and that such changes must be made by Parliament. The government had applied to have the case dismissed.

Nicklinson’s wife,Jane,said the only way to end her husband’s suffering was to kill him.

“A life like this is unbearable for him,’’ she said. “We know there are doctors out there that would do this if it is made legal.’’

Nicklinson argued that British law hindered his right to “private and family life’’, guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights,on the grounds that being able to choose how to die is a matter of personal autonomy.

A recent British commission headed by a former justice secretary concluded there was a strong case for allowing assisted suicide under strict criteria. The report did not support euthanasia and recommended assisted suicide be allowed for terminally ill people,which would exclude Nicklinson.

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