[ View the story "Choosing death" on Storify] Choosing death Is the right to die part of human freedom and the right of choice?
Storified by The Stream · Tue, Sep 04 2012 10:48:03
Individuals suffering from Locked-in syndrome are unable to move or speak, relying fully on the help of others to continue to operate. The only way for Nicklinson to communicate with others was through a computer system that scans his eye movements to formulate words and sentences.
This picture shows Tony Nicklinson in the wheelchair that he was confined to:
Through the help of his children,
was able to harness the effectiveness of social media to convey his message. Despite losing the case, his wife and children promised to continue their efforts to bring change to the UK's euthanasia laws. The below message was tweeted following Tony's death:
Thank you for your kindness, we truly appreciate it. Dad started something important, lets hope it will not end with his death #tonyTonyNicklinson
This map shows where euthanasia is legal, illegal, and tolerated in the world.
The "Suicide Tourist" is a documentary that follows 59-year-old Craig Ewert in his last days before being euthanised in Switzerland by an organisation called
. Before his death Ewert suffered from Lou Gehrig's disease and was reliant on a ventilator for his survival. Here's a clip from the documentary:
Craig Ewert at Dignitas (Switzerland). Assisted Suicide / Euthanasia.gematogentomsk
Below is a picture of one of the Dignitas' centers in Switzerland:
Despite Dignitas' claim that it is a non-profit organisation dedicated to helping individuals "to live with dignity" and "to die with dignity", many see their activities as nothing short of murder.
Here's a vlog post from a young social-media user on why she stands against euthanasia:
Lia's Euthanasia Speechfyrefoxxp
Others stand against euthanasia and assisted suicide based on religious grounds. The below post was
by the Reverend Dr. Peter Mullen:
Our rather ridiculous views on euthanasia have their basis in religious nonsense such as "sanctity of life" ,"sin","God" & other mumbo jumbo Richard Ruzyllo
Gallup has generated a number of opinion polls on euthanasia. As of 2007, the results appear to show that 56% of Americans support assisted suicide while 38% do not.
In 2011 US cable network HBO
a documentary on the US state of Oregon's "Death with Dignity" law. Oregon was the first US state to legalise assisted suicide in 1994. Montana and Washington are the only other US states to legalise the procedure. Here's the trailer for the documentary:
How To Die In Oregon - Official Trailernewvideodigital
Netizens have also been split on this controversial issue. Some hailed Tony Nicklinson for his courage, patience, and bravery. Others criticised the idea of assisted suicide.
What an incredible man Tony Nicklinson was. One simply can't imagine what he had to endure. He finally can rest nowKate Robbins
Moved by the bravery & tragedy of Tony Nicklinson. He & his family were an inspiration to so many. Abandoned by the law. May he RIP now.Nicola Bryant
RIP Tony Nicklinson... his ordeal is over and can rest now in peace. euthanasia is a touchy subject, but no-one deserves to suffer like thatSwami Baracus
If ever a man deserved to rest in peace it was Tony Nicklinson.Jill Mansell
So does Tony Nicklinson have to go to jail now?Michael Legge
I'm sad for his family but I'm glad that he is suffering no more. Let's hope Tony Nicklinson's legacy will be a change in the law #rightodieJames Whale
When will the politicians we elect be brave enough to genuinely debate assisted dying and clarify the law? RIP Tony NicklinsonJerome Taylor
We live in a society that promotes the use of products guaranteed to cause lung cancer & liver damage yet euthanasia's a crime? #sadbuttrueHarrison Peacock
Others continued to stand firm in their opposition to the practise:
Has anybody ever heard good reasons why #Euthanasia and #AssistedSuicide should not be legalised? I haven't.Tom Spencer
To believe that opposition to #euthanasia is *just* a religious concern, you have to ignore disabled & elderly groups AND big medical orgs.Niall Gooch
Once we cross the boundary between "allowing to die" & killing, there will be no turning back
#prolife #euthanasiaAlveda King
in Tony Nicklinson's case suggest that the legal bid can continue. Nicklinson's lawyers say that unaired arguments may still be presented in the UK's Supreme Court were another plaintiff to bring his case forward to address the assisted suicide issue.