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Right-to-die campaigner Tony Nicklinson dies

Locked-in sufferer Tony Nicklinson has died, just six days after his bid to end his life with the help of a doctor was rejected by the High Court.

22 August 2012

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Nicklinson died at around 10am this morning (22 August 2012) of natural causes. His health is believed to have declined rapidly over the past few days, having contracted pneumonia and refused food following the court’s decision. Nicklinson had made an advance directive in 2004 refusing any life-sustaining treatment.

Nicklinson’s wife Jane said that “the fight seemed to go out of him” after he had received the court’s draft judgment on 12 August refusing his claim. In a statement through Nicklinson’s solicitor Saimo Chahal, Jane Nicklinson said: “Tony said that he was heartbroken by the High Court’s decision that he could not end his life at a time of his choosing with the help of a doctor. He could not understand how the legal arguments on his behalf could not succeed.”

Tony Nicklinson told Bindmans’ partner Chahal on 14 August: “So, we lost. In truth I am crestfallen, totally devastated and very frightened. I fear for the future and the misery it is bound to bring.

“I suppose it was wrong of me to invest so much hope and expectation into the judgment but I really believed in the veracity of the arguments and quite simply could not understand how anybody could disagree with the logic. I guess I forgot the emotional component.”

Nicklinson’s family all supported his legal action to change the law. Shortly after his death, one of his daughters released a message from Tony on to his Twitter account. It read: “Goodbye world the time has come, I had some fun.”

The appeal against the high court’s decision that Nicklinson had vowed to pursue will now come to an end unless someone in similar circumstances steps forward to pursue the action, said Chahal.

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