Britain right-to-die case can proceed

March 12, 2012 at 10:35 PM
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LONDON, March 12 (UPI) -- A justice in Britain's High Court rejected a government request to throw out a case of a paralyzed man who wants to be allowed to end his life.

Tony Nicklinson, 57, has asked the court to rule a doctor would not be prosecuted for helping him commit suicide, The Sun reported.

Nicklinson, who suffered a stroke in 2005, has a syndrome that has left his body almost completely paralyzed and he can communicate only by using a special computer that measures eye movements.

The father of two describes his life as "dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable" and has sought a declaration that a doctor who helped him commit suicide would have a "common law defense of necessity" against any murder charge.

The government wants the case thrown out, arguing only Parliament can change a law on murder.

The judge, however, rejected the application from the Ministry of Justice, so the case can proceed.

Nicklinson's lawyer had said at an earlier hearing "an act of euthanasia or assisted suicide" was the only means "by which his suffering may be brought to an end and his fundamental common law rights of autonomy and dignity may be vindicated."

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