Nicklinson lawyers’ ‘surprise’ at appeal snub
Lawyers for locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson, who died shortly after losing a landmark right-to-die legal battle, branded the decision of High Court judges to refuse permission for his case to go to the Court of Appeal “highly surprising”.
Saimo Chahal, who represents the Nicklinson family, said she would be appealing directly to the Court of Appeal.
She said: “It is a shame that the court will not allow this debate to be pursued to a higher level as the decision of this court is only the first word on this issue and should not be the last on a topic of this magnitude. The next step is an appeal to the Court of Appeal direct to consider permission to appeal.”
Stroke victim Mr Nicklinson, a 58-year-old father-of-two from Melksham, Wiltshire, died a week after he lost his court fight to end his life when he chose, with a doctor’s help.
He had been refusing food and contracted pneumonia, dying surrounded by his family on 22 August. His wife vowed to carry on the case.
The judges said they were “deeply conscious of her suffering” since Mr Nicklinson’s stroke, but said they did “not consider that the proposed appeal has any real prospect of success”.
They turned down an application by Mrs Nicklinson to be made a party to the proceedings.
The judges did announce that a second sufferer of the syndrome, who also lost his case at the High Court in August, has been given the go-ahead for his action against the Director of Public Prosecutions to be heard by appeal judges.
The parties were informed of the appeal decisions made by Lord Justice Toulson, Mr Justice Royce and Mrs Justice Macur, in a written ruling sent to them today.
The second sufferer, who cannot be named for legal reasons, but is known as AM or Martin, suffered a massive stroke in August 2008.
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