Lifestyle & Belief

Tony Nicklinson, sufferer of 'locked-in syndrome,' denied right to be euthanized legally


Tony Nicklinson wife Jane wipes away tears as he reacts as a statement is read out regarding the decision made by High Court judges not to allow him to ask a doctor to end his life on August 16, 2012 in Melksham, England. Nicklinson, who suffers from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke, has lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help.


Matt Cardy

Tony Nicklinson, who suffers from "locked-in syndrome" and is paralyzed from the neck down, has lost the court case over his right to be legally euthanized. 

Nicklinson, 58, had a stroke in 2005, and described his life since as a "living nightmare," BBC News reported.

Because of his condition, he is physically incapable of taking his own life, and had been petitioning Britain's High Court to allow a doctor to help him die without the fear of persecution. 

"Although I didn't want to raise my hopes, it happened anyway because a fantastic amount of work went into my case and I thought that if the court saw me as I am, utterly miserable with my life, powerless to do anything about it because of my disability then the judges would accept my reasoning that I do not want to carry on and should be able to have a dignified death," Nicklinson, who was devastated by the ruling, said Thursday. 

"I am saddened that the law wants to condemn me to a life of increasing indignity and misery," he added, according to BBC News. 

More from GlobalPost: Tony Nicklinson's right-to-die case to be heard in court: judge

However, while they expressed sympathy for his condition, the Court ruled Thursday that overturning the ban on voluntary euthanasia is an issue that should be decided by lawmakers, CNN reported

“Tony either has to carry on like this until he dies from natural causes or by starving himself," his wife Jane told the Mirror after hearing the court's decision. “All the points that we put forward have just really been ignored, it seems. We always knew it was a big ask but we always hoped that the judges would see sense, but clearly they haven’t.”

Nicklinson and his family (he is the father of two daughters) have vowed to appeal the ruling. 

However, pro-life activists stood behind the High Court's decision, the Huffington Post UK reported

"We trust that today's judgment will help end the insidious campaign in the British courts to change the law on assisted suicide and euthanasia," Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC Pro-Life, said in a statement. "Those who are sick, vulnerable or disabled need the law to be robust in protecting the inviolability of every human life. To legalize killing of those who are suffering would adversely affect many, many people."

According to a recent set of guidelines from the Director of Public Prosecutions, only family members or friends who prove they are motivated by compassion are unlikely to be prosecuted for assisting a suicide, the Telegraph reported

More from GlobalPost: Tony Nicklinson, fully paralyzed man, sends first tweet using eye movement technology (VIDEO)