Intended for healthcare professionals


Judges rule that doctors cannot help men with locked-in syndrome to end their lives

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 17 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5602
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1BMJ

Two men with locked-in syndrome who want doctors’ help in ending their lives have lost their right to die cases at the High Court in London.

Tony Nicklinson, 58, and a fellow stroke survivor named only as “Martin,” 47, told three judges that they wanted doctors to be able to help them die without the risk of prosecution for murder or assisting a suicide.

But the judges, headed by Lord Justice Toulson, declared that it was for parliament, not the courts, to change the law on assisted dying.

Both men have catastrophic physical disabilities, though their mental faculties are unimpaired and they could live …

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