Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Paralyzed Man Seeks Right to Be Killed
Tony Nicklinson, a British man who is paralyzed from the neck down as a result of a stroke, is going to court in order to challenge the law against murder. He is asking that he be permitted to have a physician euthanize him at his request. Last year's guidelines from the Director of Public Prosecutions on prosecution for assisted suicide made it clear that, while some sorts of assistance in patient suicide would not be prosecuted, "[i]t is murder or manslaughter for a person to do an act that ends the life of another, even if he or she does so on the basis that he or she is simply complying with the wishes of the other person." Mr. Nicklinson's case against the Ministry of Justice seems to be an effort to carve out a medical exception to the manslaughter/murder law. I don't expect it will succeed.