A man paralysed from the neck down after suffering a stroke that left him with locked-in syndrome will on Monday begin a high court battle to allow doctors to end his life. In the most ambitious attempt yet to loosen laws on the right to die, Tony Nicklinson, 57, wants a declaration that any doctor terminating his life will have a “common law defence of necessity” against any possible murder charge. The test case raises “difficult legal, moral and ethical questions”, said Nicklinson’s solicitor Saimo Chahal. The Guardian understands lawyers for the Ministry of Justice will argue the case should be “struck out” as such a change in law would be for parliament and not the courts. Nicklinson, a former rugby player who worked as an engineering executive in the Middle East, suffered a stroke in Athens in 2005 that left him paralysed, though he is not in a vegetative state. He can move his head and eyes, and can communicate through use of an Eye-Blink computer or Perspex alphabet board. The married father of two from Wiltshire cannot speak, is fed liquidised food, and dependant on carers. His disability means he cannot take his own life other than by… Read full this story
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