Locked-in man who wanted ‘right to be killed’ dies at 58

The locked-in syndrome sufferer who campaigned for doctors to be allowed to actively end his life has died.

The police say there were no suspicious circumstances. It is understood that Tony Nicklinson had contracted pneumonia.

Last Thursday the High Court refused Mr Nicklison’s request for doctors to be allowed to kill him.


Lord Justice Toulson said it was not the place of the courts to “usurp the function of Parliament” by effectively changing the law.

Mr Nicklinson was left paralysed from the neck down and unable to speak after suffering a stroke during a business trip to Athens in 2005.

He died on Wednesday morning at the age of 58.

After learning of last week’s decision Mr Nicklinson started refusing food. He contracted pneumonia and his condition declined rapidly.


A spokesman for Wiltshire Police said: “We are not involved at all. The doctor is signing the death certificate, and the coroner is happy with that.”

Last Thursday the High Court also ruled against a second man, known only as ‘Martin’, who had asked for the right to call on others to help him die.

Lord Justice Toulson, who was sitting with two other judges, noted that the cases of Mr Nicklinson and Martin were “deeply moving”, but it was not for the court to change the law in this area.


The judge also said: “A decision to allow their claims would have consequences far beyond the present cases.”

Lawyers representing Martin are to appeal the High Court’s decision.

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