10 Days Remaining

Tuesday 21st
posted by Lamiat Sabin in Britain

A MAN with locked-in ­syndrome lost a High Court battle yesterday over guidelines preventing doctors from assisting patients in committing suicide.

Identified only as Martin, he argued that guidance from the General Medical Council (GMC) unreasonably stopped those who wanted to end their lives from getting help.

Martin is almost completely paralysed after a stroke, cannot speak and wants to have the right to die. He declared that the rules breach his human rights.

GMC guidelines contradict clauses eight and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, he claimed, as they prevent him from receiving advice on how and when he can die.

Lord Justice Elias and Mr Justice Collins dismissed his case and ruled the guidance lawful.

Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) member Linda Burnip said that government social spending and NHS cuts were pushing people to the end of their tethers.

“Generally, we are opposed to having the right to die until we have the right to assisted living,” she said.

The independent living fund was stopped last month after 27 years — a decision that spurred DPAC activists to storm the House of Commons chamber during Prime Minister’s questions.

Some of Ms Burnip’s peers had spoken of ending their lives in desperation, she said, when they were unable to receive the help they needed, while the Tories continue their onslaught against disabled and vulnerable people under the guise of austerity.

“The cuts that are being made are pushing people towards wanting to end their lives because they cannot get the support they need to get to live independently,” she said.