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Melksham right-to-die man's family disappointed by court decision
The family of Melksham locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson have joined him in expressing their deep disappointment at today’s High Court decision.
In a statement Mr Nicklinson, 58, said he was ‘devastated’ by the ruling, which denies him the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor's help.
“It’s not the result I was hoping for but it isn’t entirely unexpected,” he said.
“Judges, like politicians, are happiest when they can avoid confronting the real issues and this judgement is not an exception to this rule.
“I believe the legal team acting on my behalf is prepared to go all the way with 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.”
He also praised the ‘fantastic’ amount of work which had been put into his case.
Speaking from the family home this afternoon his wife Jane said the fight was not over as they hope to challenge the ruling in the Court of Appeal, and take it on to the Supreme Court if necessary.
“Being totally realistic we knew that the odds were against us, but you live in hope while there is a chance,” she said.
“We are not going to give up, it has taken us three years to get this far. We have had a lot of support from friends and have been very moved by the response to an online petition.
“The judgement said we have to consider those people who are against what we are trying to do, but didn’t consider all those people in favour.”
The High Court judges unanimously agreed that it would be wrong for the court to depart from the long-established legal position that ‘voluntary euthanasia is murder, however understandable the motives may be’.
Mr Nicklinson was left paralysed by a catastrophic stroke while on a business trip to Athens in 2005.
Their younger daughter Beth, 23, said: “Dad is really, really upset, we had some hope for the right result but deep down we knew what it would be.
“But it is just one battle in the war, and there is always hope for the future. We are strong and will get through it.
“Dad’s legal team wouldn’t continue to fight this if they didn’t think we could win.”
Lauren, 25, who lives in Bristol, added: “Dad had his stroke seven years ago and we started the legal proceedings two years ago, it has had a huge impact on our lives.
“It was hard for me going to university up north and not being able to speak to him on the phone, or see him at my graduation, and he won’t be able to go to Beth’s either.
“But it is worse because he is still there, and in such a horrible state for him. We are very disappointed.”
To see the petition visit www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/tony-nicklinson-s-right-to-die-change-the-law