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Public law and Regulation

Case reports and guidance on public law and professional regulation issues

04 APR 2012

Right to die case gets go ahead from High Court

Tony Nicklinson has been allowed to bring a case seeking a declaration that it would be lawful for a doctor to assist in his suicide and that the law of assisted suicide is incompatible with Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Mr Nicklinson suffers from Locked-in Syndrome as a result of a stroke that left him paralysed below the neck and unable to speak. However, he retains full capacity and wishes to end his life. Mr Nicklinson submitted a witness statement where his articulated his frustration at losing the ability to choose whether he lives or dies. The law on murder and assisted suicide means that at present, Mr Nicholson cannot be helped to end his suffering. He asked the question:

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