1991 - happier times
The report below was written 5 days ago. Today August 21, it has been announced that Mr Nicklinson died at 10am BST.:
Seven years ago Tony Nicklinson from the UK was on holiday in Greece when he suffered a major Stroke. The Stroke caused him devastating changes in his life. He has since lived a life in a state of what is called "locked in syndrome". For sometime 58-year-old Tony with the help of his Wife has been fighting for the right to end his life, with medical help.
Today, August 16, 2012, Mr Nicklinson and another sufferer lost a High Court case to allow such help.
Mr Nicklinson appeared on TV obviously heartbroken. He manages to convey his thoughts to others by using a system of letters. His disabilities are immense but his brain remains active. This of course makes his predicament all the worse. Tony knows exactly what is happening to him.
The subject of assisted suicide in the UK always ruffles feathers and leads to heated debate. However in ensuring that the rights of others are protected many people such as Tony are left to a miserable existence with no hope of any respite until death comes naturally. It seems to us very cruel. If he were an animal we would consider it a kindness to "put him out his misery". Instead as a human being he and his loved ones are made to suffer.
This what one of the High Court judges had to say, according to SkyNews, "To do as Tony wants, the court would be making a major change in the law. To do as Martin( the other unnamed man) wants, the court would be compelling the Director of Public Prosecutions to go beyond his established legal role. "These are not things which the court should do. It is not for the court to decide whether the law about assisted dying should be changed and, if so, what safeguards should be put in place.
"Under our system of government these are matters for Parliament to decide, representing society as a whole, after parliamentary scrutiny, and not for the court on the facts of an individual case or cases." Mr Justice Royce agreed, saying: "No-one could fail to be deeply moved by the terrible predicament faced by these men struck down in their prime and facing a future bereft of hope. "Some will say the judges must step in to change the law. Some will be sorely tempted to do so. "But the short answer is that to do so here would be to usurp the function of Parliament in this classically sensitive area."
That does not help either of the men. The lawyer representing Tony did not want a fundamental change in UK law but rather a ruling which would allow Mr Nicklinson to be assessed on an individual basis. Would that have been such a bad thing?
The sight of Tony, absolutely heartbroken, on UK TV news, was appalling. Until any person has to walk even a moment in that man's shoes how can we judge?.
As he is aged just 58 Tony could live decades in his "locked in" state. That is what he does not want. Can you blame him?
Whilst it is sad news that Tony has died it is what he wanted. He found the thought of living any longer in his torn body unbearable. Condolences are sent to the family but he is now at peace. Tony's daughter tweeted, "RIP @TonyNicklinson. Couldn't have asked for a better dad, so strong. You are now at peace, we will be fine. I love you xxx"
Another message read, "You may already know, my Dad died peacefully this morning of natural causes. he was 58. "Before he died, he asked us to tweet: 'Goodbye world the time has come, I had some fun'. "Thank you for your support over the years. We would appreciate some privacy at this difficult time. Love, Jane, Lauren and Beth."
Details of the cause of death have not been revealed yet. Tony's suffering may be over but last week's court decision will affect others suffering a similar fate.
Update: Police have said they will not be investigating the cause of death. They said it was not a suspicious death. Tony developed pneumonia over the weekend and his wife told reporters that his health rapidly deteriorated.
Based in Yorkshire, in the middle of the UK, almost, this blogger offers her own unique perspective on life in GB
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