After Losing His Battle Over Euthanasia, Tony Nicklinson Has Died

Last week, the High Court ruled that Tony Nicklinson, a paralyzed man, could not be euthanized:

Tony Nicklinson, after hearing the court’s decision (Matt Cardy – Getty Images)

Today, just days after the ruling, his family informed the world that Nicklinson died of pneumonia late last night:

Police said they would not be investigating Nicklinson’s death. “We can confirm he passed away,” a police spokesman said on customary condition of anonymity. “His death certificate has been signed by a doctor, so it is not a matter for Wiltshire Police or the coroner.”

Nicklinson had said that even if he were granted the right to die, he would not want to be killed immediately, but just wanted to know that the option existed.

You wish he could’ve died on his own terms, but at least he’s no longer suffering what he called “a living nightmare.”

On his Twitter account, his family wrote this:





About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Pete084

    It has been reported that he refused food and medication since returning home, a somewhat less dignified way to die than an assisted death. I can empathise as I watched my father slowly die as I helped care for him, he had cancer of the oesophagus and was therefore inoperable, the stent the hospital fitted made it difficult for him to eat, so he too starved to death, a mear shadow of the man that I knew as my father.

    I hope Tony’s family feel the sense of relief and release that my family and I felt when my fathers suffering ended.

    • Michael

      Indeed, the BBC is reporting the same thing, which just goes to show the futility of refusing someone the right to die.

  • Pollracker

    Its just horrible that because of peoples own religious belief they won’t let others die with a sense of dignity

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Gabriel/100001553623864 Michael Gabriel

    TO THE FAMILY OF TONY NICKLINSON – I am sorry that your father had to suffer the dissapointment of losing his case. I hope that  the people who made that horrible ruling have to one day suffer everything your father went thru physically and emotionally.  I don’t know much about this case but I would be willing to bet that voting against your fathers wishes were the actions of some delusional bible thumpers. One more reason why I despise and hate christianity.

    • http://www.facebook.com/d3st88 Morva Ádám

      Michael, I understand your frustration, but wishing bad things on those idiots, who made this horrible ruling is quite ill-mannered. We just need to talk about these issues more and reason with those fucktards and make sure we elect well-equipped people to make decisions like this.

      • Julanar

         I don’t want to start an argument, but could we please not use the word “fucktards”, especially when talking about respecting people? It’s basically the offensive term “retard” made even worse.

        Thank you.

        • Edmond

          THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

          “-tard” is NOT a SUFFIX to be used for insulting people.

    • Maria

      I don’t wish suffering on anybody, but I agree that Christianity is stupid

      • RETeacher

        I am by no means religious but to blame a religion when religion is not responsible is unnecessary and ignorant . Secondly I do feel the court made the wrong descision but to disrespect a group of people who merely want to promote and save lives is narrow minded.

  • http://twitter.com/JJtheTVnewsguy James Jackson

    If I was a spiritual person, I’d say this was quite a blessing.  Nonetheless I am most pleased that in addition to Mr. Nicklinson’s end to needless suffering, the police are wisely leaving his family alone and not doing an unnecessary inquiry.

  • Santiago

    Sad.

    One good documentary I saw last year that illustrates a somewhat differnt case was Frontline’s Right to Die. In this case it was an American ( if I remeber correctly) living in the UK who went to Switzerland to die in his own terms. You can watch it online for free.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gregm766 Gregory Marshall

    It’s almost as if he said, you won’t give me the right to die? Ha, FahQ, I will show you and die anyway!
    I am glad his suffering is over.

  • kk

    The world, not just England, has lost a GIANT!  What an amazing gentleman…He will not be forgotten.

  • http://nwrickert.wordpress.com/ Neil Rickert

    A thank you to Tony Nicklinson for staying alive just long enough to give religion the black eye that they deserve.

  • http://www.facebook.com/don.gwinn Don Gwinn

    “You do realize that if I decide to end my life, you can’t actually stop me?”

  • Margaret Whitestone

    My thoughts go out to his family, and I’m glad he’s a peace now.  A mighty f*** you to those who refused his petition.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ayame-Sohma/100002225988462 Ayame Sohma

    In summary, the pro-torture lobby supports:

    Suicide by cop (because they allow for self-defense).
    Asssisted suicide by starvation (see the Nicklinson case).

    Assisted suicide via barbiturates – HELL NO (pun intended).


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