A former engineer with “locked-in syndrome” is undertaking a landmark legal challenge on the right to die.
Engineering executive Tony Nicklinson, 56, worked for construction group Archirodon. He suffered a stroke whilst on a business trip to Greece in 2005. Doctors managed to save his life, but Nicklinson was left with locked-in syndrome.
The condition means the sufferer is completely paralysed below the neck, but has all higher brain functions left intact. Nicklinson can now communicate only by blinking or nodding his head.
The ICE Benevolent Fund (BFICE) has helped the Nicklinson family for four years, starting with a substantial contribution to the cost of adapting the Nicklinson family house when he returned from hospital.
The BFICE also provides a monthly grant to the Nicklinson family to assist with the costs of day-to-day living, and has helped fund his two daughters to attend university.
Nicklinson is seeking the right to die and last month challenged the Director of Public Prosecutions regarding the UK laws pertinent to assisted suicide.
Nicklinson’s level of paralysis means he is unable to kill himself. He wants to know whether his wife would face murder charges if she administered a lethal injection. Current UK law does not allow for or recognise consensual killing.
The fund relies on donations from ICE members and offers assistance to all current and former Members of the ICE and their families.
Nicklinson’s wife Jane told NCE: “Words cannot express how much we appreciate all of the financial help and support we have received from BFICE over the last five years. I don’t think we could have survived without it. We have a long battle ahead of us, but we are prepared as it is what Tony wants.”
- To find out more information about the BFICE or to make a donation visit www.bfice.org.uk.