Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

There'll Be No Happy Ending for Us. Please Just Let My Father Die in Peace

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

There'll Be No Happy Ending for Us. Please Just Let My Father Die in Peace

Article excerpt

Byline: Sophie Goodchild Health Correspondent

THE daughter of a man with "locked in" syndrome today made a final plea for him to be allowed to end his life peacefully.

Lauren Nicklinson, 25, said her severely disabled father Tony will have to starve himself to death unless doctors are permitted to help him die. The High Court will reveal tomorrow whether the stroke victim, 58, has won his bid to challenge Britain's euthanasia laws. He wants doctors to be able to end his life without fear of being sent to jail.

In a moving interview with the Evening Standard, Ms Nicklinson, who works in public relations, said: "If, as a country, we can organise one of the most amazing sporting events in history like the Olympics then surely we can come to a sensible and calm decision on an issue like this.

"As able-bodied people, we could end our lives now but my father can't take his because of the legal system. This hasn't been a snap decision -- he's thought hard about it for seven years."

His case has reignited the debate about the human rights of severely disabled people who do not want to go on living but are physically incapable of killing themselves. The current position is that any doctor who deliberately gives a lethal injection to end a patient's life would face a murder charge.

This applies even if the intention is to relieve suffering. Assisting suicide is also illegal and carries a jail term of up to 14 years. Mr Nicklinson's family could face a criminal investigation if they took him to the Dignitas clinic in Switzerland.

Some doctors fear a victory for Mr Nicklinson would set a precedent which would change the relationship between doctors and patients. Their current role is to support families who are deciding whether to turn off a loved one's life support machine. …

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