PRO-LIFE campaigners have welcomed the judges’ decision to reject the challenge by two locked-in syndrome sufferers for the legal right to end their life with the help of a doctor.
They said the “legalised killing” of the sick, vulnerable or disabled would have “seriously undermined” the right to life and would “adversely affect many, many people”.
Locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson lost his High Court battle for the legal right to end his life with a doctor’s help.
A second victim of the syndrome referred to as “Martin”, 47, who cannot be identified, also lost his challenge to the legal ban on assisted dying.
Mr Nicklinson, 58, from Melksham, Wiltshire, was left paralysed by a catastrophic stroke while on a business trip to Athens in 2005.
But the three judges unanimously agreed that it would be wrong for the court to depart from the long-established legal position that “voluntary euthanasia is murder, however understandable the motives may be”.
Paul Tully, general secretary of SPUC Pro-Life, said: “We welcome the High Court’s ruling and we question whether those who have encouraged Mr Nicklinson and ‘Martin’ to pursue this legal action have the best interests of disabled people at heart.
“Those who are sick, vulnerable or disabled need the law to be robust in protecting the inviolability of every human life.
“The court has reiterated once again that direct, active, voluntary euthanasia is unlawful in English and European law.
“To have allowed euthanasia would have seriously undermined both the laws against homicide and the right to life enshrined in the European Convention of Human Rights.’’