Man Loses Right To Die Case At High Court

16 July 2013

Earlier this year, we reported on Tony Nicklinson who suffered from locked-in syndrome who was going through the court's fighting for the right to end his life without fear of prosecution. 

The case was in the High Court this week and was slightly different to other cases previously heard as Mr Nicklinson would be unable to take any prescribed medicine himself and thereby commit suicide as he would have been unable to take any lethal drugs.  As such, someone else would have had to assist and this would have amounted to a potential murder charge under our current law.

One of the reasons that the Court gave was that their decision would have been equivalent to a change in the law, which was outside of their power.  This is something that Parliament would need to decide and there have been several reports prepared considering changing the law on suicide, but none have yet been made law.

Mr Nicklinson may yet appeal the High Court decision and some press reports have suggested that ultimately he may starve himself to death.  Whilst many commentators are concerned of changes to the law, due to vulnerable people being made to be at a greater risk than at present, others are left wondering whether this goes against some of the basic human rights.

Only time will tell if an appeal goes ahead and whether changes will occur in the law. 

This is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues