Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Locked-in man to appeal over ruling

Lawyers representing a second locked-in syndrome sufferer have announced that they are to appeal a High Court decision

Lawyers representing a second locked-in syndrome sufferer - who lost his High Court action on the same day as Tony Nicklinson - have announced that they are to appeal.

They said the court's ruling last week denied the 47-year-old man "the opportunity to take the necessary steps to end his own life".

The man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons but is referred to as "Martin", suffered a massive stroke in August 2008.

He is unable to speak and virtually unable to move, describing his life as "undignified, distressing and intolerable" - and wants to be allowed a "dignified suicide".

Richard Stein, head of human rights at law firm Leigh Day & Co, said: "Martin is very clear that he wants to end his own life as he chooses.

"As an able-bodied person, I have the ability to choose how I live and how I die.

"Martin's right to choose the manner of his death is denied to him by his disability and the courts.

"We will continue to fight for a 'compassionate defence' for anyone who will help him take the necessary steps to end his tortuous existence.".

Martin said in the statement: "I am relieved for Tony and offer my condolences to his family for the man they'll miss.

"I hope that I too can be set free from this existence but I would like it to be in the manner of my choosing."

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