Nicklinson family wait for right-to-die campaign decision
The widow of a man who had locked-in syndrome and a paralysed former builder are waiting to hear today whether they have won a right-to-die fight in the UK's highest court.
Jane Nicklinson, of Melksham, and Paul Lamb have asked the Supreme Court to rule that disabled people should have the right to be helped to die with dignity.
Nine Supreme Court justices analysed the issue at a hearing in London in December and are due to rule today.
A Supreme Court spokesman says justices have being asked to decide whether a prohibition on assisted suicide - outlined in the 1961 Suicide Act - is compatible with the right to respect for private and family life enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mrs Nicklinson and Mr Lamb have argued that the law should include a ''defence of necessity''.
They say doctors should be allowed to assist suicide when people have a ''voluntary, clear, settled and informed'' wish to end their life but cannot do so without medical assistance.
The issue has already been analysed by the High Court and Court of Appeal.
Mr Nicklinson who suffered from locked-in syndrome following a stroke in 2005, campaigned to allow his family to help him take his own life without fear of prosecution.
In 2012 a landmark High Court ruling denied the family the change they had campaigned for. A week later he died of pneumonia at the family’s home in Thames Crescent aged 58.
Mrs Nicklinson says she and fellow campaigners have done all they can.
Mr Lamb, who is also in his late 50s and comes from Bramley, Leeds, was left paralysed after a 1990 road accident.