Quote of the day

Marcus's picture
Submitted by Marcus on Thu, 2012-08-16 16:18

"Judges, like politicians, are happiest when they can avoid confronting the real issues and this judgement is no exception to the rule.

"I believe that the legal team acting on my behalf are prepared to go all the way on this but unfortunately for me it means yet another period of physical discomfort, misery and mental anguish while we find out who controls my life, me or the state."

Tony Nicklinson speaking through his computer which is controlled by blinking and head movements as judges refused his landmark right-to-die case today.


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Right-to-die law appalling, says Health Minister Anna Soubry

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Right-to-die law appalling, says Health Minister Anna Soubry

People seeking help to die should be allowed to obtain assistance in the UK, a newly-promoted health minister has said.

"Anna Soubry told the Times it was "ridiculous and appalling" that Britons had to "go abroad to end their life".

She rejected euthanasia, but said "you have a right to kill yourself".

The Department of Health said the views were Ms Soubry's own, and the Ministry of Justice said there were no plans for the government to change the law.

It was a matter for Parliament to decide, the justice ministry added.

Ms Soubry, who was appointed a health minister in a reshuffle earlier this week, called for greater "honesty" over when people would be prosecuted over helping someone to die.

The Conservative MP for Broxtowe told the Times: "I think it's ridiculous and appalling that people have to go abroad to end their life instead of being able to end their life at home.

People seeking help to die should be allowed to obtain assistance in the UK, a newly-promoted health minister has said.

"You can't say to a doctor or a nurse, 'Kill this person' but.... you have a right to kill yourself.

"The rules that we have about who we don't prosecute allow things to happen but there's a good argument that we should be a bit more honest about it."

Her new department colleague, Liberal Democrat Norman Lamb, who was also appointed as a health minister in the reshuffle, said there was a case "for looking at reform".

"This is an individual decision of conscience - there's not a government policy on it.

"But I certainly think that we should debate it, the positives and negatives about reform, but I certainly, personally, think there is a case for looking at this."

Campaign group Dignity in Dying said assisted dying was an issue that Parliament "must address".

"Dying Britons who wish to control the time and manner of their death should not have to choose between suffering against their wishes or travelling abroad to die," a spokesman said.

He said Dignity in Dying was currently consulting - along with the all-party parliamentary group on choice at the end of life - on a proposed draft dying bill.

Former justice secretary Lord Falconer was committed to bringing a private members' bill in the House of Lords next year, he added."

Tony Nicklinson: Widow's hopes for campaign

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Tony Nicklinson: Widow's hopes for campaign

"The wife of Tony Nicklinson, who died last week after losing a legal bid to end his life, said she hoped this would not be the end of the campaign.

Jane Nicklinson's 58-year-old husband had locked-in syndrome after a stroke left him paralysed seven years ago.

He lost his High Court case to allow doctors to end his life without fear of prosecution on 16 August.

Mr Nicklinson died from pneumonia at his home in Wiltshire on 22 August after refusing food and fluids.

Mrs Nicklinson said: "This is certainly not the end of the campaign. I do hope that someone takes it up."

Mr Nicklinson, from Melksham, had described his life as a "living nightmare" and his wife said the past few years had been "very hard".

Speaking to the BBC for the first time since the death of her husband, she said she felt the legal campaign had been worthwhile.

She said: "Even though we didn't win - all the hard work for the case has been done. I hope at some point, someone will come forward and carry on with what Tony started.

"I think we always knew the chances of winning at this stage were slim - possible but slim - and we'd never been told anything different so we were prepared for it."

Speaking about the years since his stroke, she said: "For him it was absolute agony - it was torture for him. It was very hard for us to sit back and see him deteriorate but we were fighting the fight with him. It was what we could do for him. It was his wish.

"People have said: 'How could you support him?' - but how could I not support him?"...

"I don't think he would have wanted to keep going for too much longer. One of the last things he said to me was: 'I'm already dead - don't mourn for me'.

"And it's true, we did. I think in some respects, seven years ago was harder than this because we did lose the old Tony."

Tony Nicklinson's 'courage' will lead to law change

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Tony Nicklinson's 'courage' will lead to law change

"Labour peer Lord Joffe has said Tony Nicklinson's "incredible courage" will eventually lead to a change in the law.

Mr Nicklinson, a man with locked-in syndrome who fought to legally end his life, died on Wednesday.

Lord Joffe, a right-to-die campaigner, said the law needs to be changed and "MPs are not listening to society".

Mr Nicklinson, 58, from Melksham, Wiltshire, described his life as a "living nightmare" after he was paralysed following a stroke in 2005.

Last week he lost his High Court battle to allow doctors to end his life.

Lord Joffe, who has been campaigning for a change of the law on assisted dying, said: "I think Tony Nicklinson's incredible courage and determination has persuaded society that the law must be changed to prevent terrible suffering."

In 2006, Lord Joffe put forward a bill on assisted dying that was blocked by the House of Lords.

And last year, Mr Nicklinson said he felt "let down" after The Commission on Assisted Dying concluded it could not condone a doctor being allowed to end his life.

"I think Tony correctly felt there needed to be a change in the law to permit him to end his life," said Lord Joffe.

"And it is clear that we do need a change in the law - the law must seek to find such a solution."

Earlier this year, MPs backed guidelines that to prosecute someone who helps another to die must be in the public interest and must take account of the suspect's motivation.

But, according to Lord Joffe, the guidelines "excluded doctors".

"MPs are not listening to society," he said.

"Their job is to take account of the views of their constituents and 80% of the public is in favour of a change in the law."

Interview with a heroic man...

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In 1991.

Tony agreed to take part in a unique four-day interview with the Observer via Twitter. Anyone could ask a question using the hashtag #talktotony. Anyone could follow the exchange – even those who disagreed with him.

@RandomSarahxx: Do you think a right to die would set back disability equality or further it?

TN: It will further it as they then have the same choice as everyone else.

@elizabday Is your legal struggle part of a broader problem re: the relationship between the individual & the state?

TN: Partly. I resent being told by the state what I can and can't do with my life. State intrudes too much.

@elizabday So by not having same rights to take your life as able-bodied person, you are being discriminated against?

TN: Yes, I would regard that as discrimination because of a physical disability.

On Wednesday, I asked for his reaction to a comment piece that had appeared in the Independent claiming "the law that makes you [Tony] sad makes most people safer".

Over the course of several tweets, he replied.

TN: I thought the law was there to serve the people, not vice versa. Is the Indy seriously telling me that I must sacrifice my life for the common good? Does it seriously ask me to accept that intelligent people who can work out how the universe began can't devise a few simple rules so that those who need protection get it while those like me get assistance? Incredible! Scaremongering AND stupid.

@elizabday Some disability campaigners disagree with you. Is your life anyone else's business?

TN: It isn't. Some religious people say god giveth and only he shall taketh away, or some such nonsense. Whatever delusion turns you on just don't expect me (an atheist) to go along with it.

@StephJaq Tony, do you believe in God? Does this belief (or the lack of) help you in your struggle?

TN: I do not believe in god. I regard it as an intellectual weakness to dump the things you can't explain on a god. It makes no difference whether I believe or not because god doesn't exist.

@Charles_Styles asked Tony: What were your first thoughts after realising you were paralysed?

TN: Bloody Hell! This can't be happening. I don't want to be paralysed.

@narecnitsi I have heard it being described as being kept in a perpetual state of animation, almost like a sci-fi film.

TN: I haven't heard that one before. It certainly feels like you're trapped in something (coffin?).

@le_zadok Do you have any fear about dying?

It took Tony a while to respond. When he did, his answer was brief but eloquent:

TN: No, but I have a fear of living like this when I am old and frail.

@LineHolm1 What is your definition of a good life?

TN: Just being able to live it.

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

And let us never forget that Goblianity ("humans are not autonomous") is filth.

I think you're confusing Christianity with the Bishop of Oxford.

Thank goodness ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... for large mercies. And let us never forget that Goblianity ("humans are not autonomous") is filth.

Tony Nicklinson dies

Marcus's picture

Tony Nicklinson dies after losing 'right to die' legal battle

"Tony Nicklinson, who failed in his high court bid to be allowed to end his life with the help of a doctor, has died just six days later, his lawyers said. He had been refusing food since the verdict, but contracted pneumonia and "went downhill quickly", they said...

Nicklinson's despair following last week's ruling was evident to all, as he broke into sobs that shook his paralysed body. He and his wife said they would appeal. "I believe the legal team are prepared to go all the way, but it means yet another period of physical discomfort and mental anguish for me," he said via a computer which he controlled through his eye movements.

In a statement at the time issued through his lawyers he said: "I am saddened that the law wants to condemn me to a life of increasing indignity and misery."

Although the judge acknowledged that his case and that of another paralysed man, known as Martin, were deeply moving, he said it was for parliament and not the courts to decide if the law should be changed.

Nicklinson, 58, was paralysed from the neck down after a stroke seven years ago. He wanted assurances from the court that anybody who helped him end his life would be free from prosecution.

A message posted from Nicklinson's Twitter account by his family on Wednesday said: "You may already know, my Dad died peacefully this morning of natural causes. He was 58. Before he died, he asked us to tweet: 'Goodbye world, the time has come, I had some fun.' Thank you for your support over the years. We would appreciate some privacy at this difficult time. Love, Jane, Lauren and Beth."

His wife, Jane, tweeted: "I have lost the love of my life but he suffers no more."

His daughter Beth added: "RIP @TonyNicklinson. Couldn't have asked for a better dad, so strong. You are now at peace, we will be fine. I love you xxx."

So, Ross ...

Richard Goode's picture

... see you there?

Or does that weekend clash with the National Party conference? Evil

Oh, wait...

Ross Elliot's picture

"I could be in the same room as *you*!

Oh, wait ..."

...indeed, Lindsay.

If you're gonna dine with the Devil, you better use a long spoon.

I can't imagine ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... why McC, as an arch-traitor to freedom during the marijuana episode, would be interested in attending a freedom conference. But hell, Baade, it could be worse. I could be in the same room as *you*!

Oh, wait ... Evil

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

Goblianity is just an unfortunate phase you're going through.

Isn't life itself just an unfortunate phase we're all going through?! Notwithstanding that it has its moments. One such is scheduled to occur on Saturday 6 October ... you and Peter McCaffrey will be in the same room together. Evil

Baade

Lindsay Perigo's picture

Didn't I have you down as *sub*-filth? Evil

Actually, since your lengthy post on another thread the other night, I no longer consider you a Goblian. Goblianity is just an unfortunate phase you're going through.

The verdict

Richard Goode's picture

"Common decency" is an oxymoron.

DEATH

Richard Goode's picture

What Tony Nicklinson needs is DEATH.

How any right-thinking human being can look at the picture I posted previously and disagree is beyond me.

Memories are all that’s left behind
As I lay and wait to die
Little do they know
That I hear their choice of life

End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope – Why don’t you

Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way

Once I had full control of my life
I now behold a machine decides my fate
End it now it’s all too late

What has now been days, it seems like years
To stay like this is what I fear
Life ends so fast, so take your chance
And make it last

End it now, it is the only way
Too cruel, that is what they say
Release me from this lonely world
There is no hope – Why don’t you

Pull the plug
Let me pass away
Pull the plug
Don’t want to live this way

Controlling their lives
Deciding when and how they will die
A victim of someone else’s choice
The ones who suffer have no voice

Manipulating destiny

When it comes to living, no one seems to care
But when it comes to wanting out
Those with power will be there

Prolong the pain
How long will it last?
Suicide machine
A request to die with dignity
Is that too much to ask?
Suicide machine

How easy it is to deny the pain
Of someone else’s suffering

Robbed of natural abilities
In death they now seek tranquility
In a confused state of mind
Extending agony, they must be blind

Manipulating destiny

When it comes to living, no one seems to care
But when it comes to wanting out
Those with power will be there

Prolong the pain
How long will it last?
Suicide machine
A request to die with dignity
Is that too much to ask?
Suicide machine

Linz

Richard Goode's picture

Goblians are filth.

Have the uncommon courtesy to add a "present company excepted" clause, as Mark Hubbard does here. And read what this Christian has to say on the present topic here, here and here. Please.

Objectivists are fith

Richard Goode's picture

"We are not autonomous beings," says the Bishop of Oxford. Fuck him.

... but use a condom. (Joke works better with Cardinals.)

Goblians are filth.

Objectivists are fith.

At least the media are on his side....

Marcus's picture

...if only they can bring enough pressure to bear on the politicians to take a stance I think we will get a change in the law.

Locked-in syndrome sufferers lose legal challenge over assisted dying

"Lawyers acting for Mr Nicklinson, who suffered a catastrophic stroke in 2005, argued for an extension to the common law defence of ‘necessity’ for murder because the alternative – forcing him to stay alive – is worse. They also argued that the government is in breach of his Article 8 right to ‘privacy, dignity and autonomy’, a right he cannot exercise independently because of severe disability.

The court rejected the “bold” submission, stating that there was no precedent anywhere in the world and such socially controversial changes were only for Parliament.

The decision was condemned by Mr Nicklinson and his family but welcomed by medical leaders and religious groups.

Both men are likely to appeal and will most likely end up in the Supreme Court."

The nub of it ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

"We are not autonomous beings," says the Bishop of Oxford. Fuck him.

Goblians are filth.

Would you be happy to live like Tony Nicklinson?

Marcus's picture

Would you be happy to live like Tony Nicklinson?

The court had no choice but to rule against Nicklinson's right to die. The law must be changed to end such brutal suffering.

"The verdict was morally abominable – but inevitable. However bad a law may be, it is not for the courts to make fundamental change but for parliament – even when parliament sentences thousands a year to brutal and pointless suffering. Most people would surely shudder in sympathy as Tony Nicklinson heard his life sentence today. But in a democracy the high court had no choice but to rule against him and the man known as Martin, both asking for their right to die.

This concerns all of us: many will be forced by law to end our days in pain, indignity, humiliation and despair. In silent dying rooms, hidden away in unmentionable and unseen places, thousands gasp out their last, their wishes ignored, unheard, their suffering unrecorded as death notices pretend they "passed away peacefully". In any other aspect of life, this would be a scandal...

Former lord chancellor Lord Falconer plans a private member's bill for the Lords in January to allow those with a diagnosis of death within 12 months to ask for a lethal prescription. They must administer it themselves in a medical setting, with two doctors certifying they are of sound mind. (For the physically weak, doctors could set up a drip, so long as patients press the button to activate it for themselves.)

In opinion polls, for years, more than 80% have supported this change in the law, but every attempt at a right-to-die reform has been sabotaged by the large religious lobby, galvanised by Care Not Killing. The red benches, heavily stacked with the religious, including 26 bishops, saw off the last bills.

Rowan Williams's pretence is that their opposition springs from a fear this will lead to mass extermination of the inconvenient old. But why should the religious worry more about that than everyone else? The law would provide safeguards. The real religious reason is theological, as voiced in the Lords by the bishop of Oxford when he proclaimed "We are not autonomous beings" – we must all wait for God's release. Presumably avoidable suffering is part of God's mysterious purpose.

The palliative care profession has been the most effective opponent because of their wonderful work for the dying. But they are strongly religiously motivated and shameless in their pretence that they can ensure everyone always has a pain-free end, if eased naturally out of this world. The brutal truth is that even the best care and drugs don't work in many cases; besides, once faced with death, it's for each of us to decide what we can bear. Less squeamishness in reporting the reality of death would show the barbarous truth about how badly life ends for all too many. When terminally ill, doctors are most likely to kill themselves, knowing too well what lies ahead.

Politics often obsesses over trivia compared to this: the Commons has assiduously avoided a debate. Falconer thinks he sees support among newer peers: if they pass his bill, the Commons must at least vote on whether to debate it. But the religious Care Not Killing lobby has threatened MPs with retaliation from all the faiths in their constituencies. Dignity in Dying and the British Humanist Association need all the support they can get to rally parliament.

Of all the various harms religions can do, their successful opposition to the right to a peaceful death is one of the most pernicious. Tony Nicklinson asks this: "The next stroke could affect you. Would you be happy to end up like me?"

Tony Nicklinson

Richard Goode's picture

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