British locked-in syndrome sufferer dies
Locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson, who last week lost his court battle for the legal right to end his life when he chooses with a doctor’s help, died peacefully at home today. He was 58.
His family said the father-of-two died at home in Melksham, Wiltshire, from natural causes. Wiltshire Police confirmed the force would not be investigating Mr Nicklinson’s death.
The married father-of-two was left paralysed by a catastrophic stroke while on a business trip to Athens in 2005.
A tweet posted on Mr Nicklinson’s profile this morning, which is regularly updated by members of his family on his behalf, read: “You may already know, my Dad died peacefully this morning of natural causes. He was 58.”
A second post added: “Before he died, he asked us to tweet: ‘Goodbye world the time has come, I had some fun’.” A third post, attributed to his wife, Jane, and grown-up children Lauren and Beth, said: “Thank you for your support over the years. We would appreciate some privacy at this difficult time.”
A Wiltshire Police spokesman said the force would not be investigating Mr Nicklinson’s death.
“Police are not involved at all. We can confirm he passed away and it is not a matter for Wiltshire Police,” he said.
“His death certificate has been signed by a doctor, so it is not a matter for Wiltshire Police or the coroner.” In a brief statement Bindmans LLP said Mr Nicklinson died this morning at home.
“This is to notify you of the sad death of Tony Nicklinson at approximately 10am this morning,” the law firm said.
The brief statement also asked for the family’s privacy to be respected. No further details were issued about the circumstances of Mr Nicklinson’s death.
Last week following the legal ruling, Mr Nicklinson’s wife, Jane - standing by her weeping husband’s side - described the decision as “one-sided”.
She said: “You can see from Tony’s reaction he’s absolutely heartbroken.” They said they intended to appeal against the decision.
Mr Nicklinson’s daughter Lauren said last week that the family would keep fighting to allow her father to die “a pain-free and peaceful death”.
“The alternative is starvation,” she said.
“Why should he have to starve himself to death when he could go (die) in a safe home with people that love him?
“To think that he might have to waste away and starve himself to death is horrific and it makes me feel quite ill, to be honest.” She rejected the argument of pro-life campaigners, saying that her father had a life only in the biological sense of the word.