TWO locked-in syndrome sufferers who find their lives “undignified and intolerable” were to take their “right to die” pleas to the High Court today.
An action brought by Tony Nicklinson, 57, from Melksham, Wiltshire, was to be heard by three judges in London.
Mr Nicklinson suffered a catastrophic stroke in 2005 while on a business trip to Athens, which left him paralysed below the neck and unable to speak.
Mr Nicklinson, who communicates by blinking or limited head movement, summed up his existence as “dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable” and wanted a doctor to be able to lawfully end his life.
Lord Justice Toulson, sitting with Mr Justice Royce and Mrs Justice Macur, was to hear a further “landmark” judicial review action brought by a man who suffered a “massive” stroke three years ago at the age of 43. The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is unable to move.
Mr Nicklinson was seeking a declaration that it would not be unlawful, on the grounds of necessity, for a doctor, to terminate or assist the termination of his life.
In a court statement he says: “By all means protect the vulnerable – by vulnerable I mean those who cannot make decisions for themselves. Just don’t include me. I am not vulnerable.
“I don’t need help or protection from death or those who would help me.
“If the legal consequences were not so huge, perhaps I could get someone to help.”