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Nicklinson Right To Die Cases

In a follow-up to a case previously covered by the PILS Update, two severely disabled men and Tony Nicklinson’s widow have taken their cases on assisted suicide to the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. All three appellants want health professionals to be legally protected if they assist people who wish to end their own lives. Mr Nicklinson, now deceased, lost his High Court case to be able to legally end his own life with the help of a doctor after suffering from locked-in syndrome for a number of years. In that instance, the court said that the issue was one for parliament to decide. Nicklinson’s widow is now continuing the case by appealing the court’s decision, alongside two other severely disabled men, one of whom, Martin, also suffers from locked-in syndrome. The second man, Paul Lamb has only slight movement in one hand. At the beginning of the appeal hearing the court said "We are acutely aware of the desperate situation in which the appellants find themselves and we are very sympathetic. But we know, and they surely know, that we cannot decide this case as a matter of personal sympathy. We have to decide it as a point of law."  The appeal case began mid-May 2013 and was expected to go on for several days.