Tony Nicklinson questions Lord Falconer over right to die report

Tony Nicklinson says the Commission on Assisted Dying has let him down.

16 April 2012 Last updated at 19:21

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-wiltshire-17732936

A man from Wiltshire who has “locked-in syndrome” has asked for an explanation on why he should not be allowed to die.

Tony Nicklinson, 58, from Melksham, became paralysed from the neck down following a stroke in 2005, and is unable to take his own life.

A recent Commission on Assisted Dying report said the terminally ill should be able to end their lives voluntarily.

Mr Nicklinson met report author Lord Falconer earlier, saying he wants a doctor to be allowed to end his life.

The Commission on Assisted Dying (CAD) published a report in January which concluded there was a “strong case” for allowing assisted suicide for people who are terminally ill.

But the report said that to take someone else’s life would be a “step too far”.

Mr Nicklinson, who cannot speak or move anything except his head and eyes, met CAD chairman Lord Falconer for two hours at his home in Melksham earlier.
‘Not acceptable’

Communicating through a computer, he told him: “You say terminally ill people should have the right to die so they don’t end up like me, so why should I be forced to live like this?”

Lord Falconer said: “If somebody can’t take the final act themselves then somebody has to, in effect, kill them and I think, and the commission thought as well, that was a step too far.

“It was too risky to allow any situation to arise where one person could kill another that would be lawful.

“Allowing, in any circumstances, one person to kill another would be a massive moral and practical change in the view that the law takes about taking other people’s lives.

“That’s just not acceptable, I think.”

After the meeting Mr Nicklinson said he was “satisfied” that Lord Falconer had answered his questions.

“We must agree to differ on the question of someone killing another. He sees dangers where I do not.

“I believe the law has grey areas and needs clarification.”


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