Two men plead with judges to let doctors end their life legally

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 19 June 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e4270
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

A man paralysed from the neck down made legal history on Tuesday 19 June when he asked three senior judges at the High Court in London to rule that doctors should be allowed to kill him legally.

Tony Nicklinson, who has locked-in syndrome after a catastrophic stroke in 2005, is seeking a declaration that a doctor who ended his life at his request could invoke the defence of necessity, legalising what would otherwise be murder.1

Nicklinson, 58, is too disabled for an assisted suicide and would not be able to lift a cup with a lethal dose of phenobarbital to his lips, his barrister, Paul Bowen QC, told …

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