Monday 23 October 2017

Right-to-die 'locked-in' sufferer petitioned by Twitter users encouraging him to live

Tony Nicklinson and wife Jane at home in Melksham, Wilts
Tony Nicklinson and wife Jane at home in Melksham, Wilts

Hannah Furness

A man with "locked-in syndrome" who is awaiting a court judgment to determine whether he can end his life has been petitioned by Twitter users who hope to change his mind.

Tony Nicklinson, 57, is almost completely paralysed and communicates through a specially adapted computer which records blinks and tiny head movements.

Earlier this year the English father of two won the right to ask a court to declare that a doctor can end his life, with a hearing due to take place tomorrow.

Last week, he joined Twitter in order to communicate with the wider world and already has more than 14,000 followers.

He has now been inundated with comments from people all around the globe, with some praising his brave campaign and others begging him to change his mind.

One, who provided a link to a health website, said: "This might change your mind. You are important."

Another wrote: "I do beleive [sic]in Miracles and will pray for you. God will heal you one day. God bless you, He loves you so very much."

A third said: "I feel you have the right to as you wish. But I would like to see you stick around to see how many of us really care."

In response, Mr Nicklinson has said: "People want to know if I will change my mind because of Twitter. Let's hear the judgement first and maybe I'll tell you."

In an email interview with the Independent newspaper, Mr Nicklinson said: “I do believe that it is a person’s first human right to be able to determine when, where and how to end his own life.

“All this talk about a person’s life being ‘a gift from God and only he can decide when a person’s life can end’ is utter rubbish.

“I object to being told what I can and cannot do by a faith I don’t believe in (for the record I am an atheist).

“I feel that I am denied my most basic human right; I object to society telling me that I must live until I die of natural causes and I will do all I can to restore those rights.”

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