RIP Tony Nicklinson: The State owned your body but not your mind
TONY Nicklinson has died. He died of pneumonia at the family’s home at Malksham, Trowbridge, Wiltshire. Tony Nicklinson had locked-in syndrome. Earlier this week he lost his legal challenge for the right to end his life with a doctor’s help.
His Twitter page declared: : “Goodbye world, the time has come. I had some fun.”
Wiltshire Police will nto be investigating. As they say:
“Police are not involved at all. We can confirm he passed away and it is not a matter for Wiltshire Police. His death certificate has been signed by a doctor, so it is not a matter for Wiltshire Police or the coroner.”
Mr Nicklinson’s daughter, Lauren, has word for the pro-life campaigners who wanted Mr Nicklinson to be kept alive:
“Life should not be measured on the quantity, it should be the quality of life. Dad would rather live 51 years really happy than 90 years completely miserable. Dad hasn’t got a life — his life consists of being washed by strangers, undignified moments watching the world go by around him. Life should be about quality and happiness, not just for the sake of it.”
Richard Carvath took a different view:
Poor old Tony Nicklinson. His wife wants to kill him, his family want to kill him, his barrister wants to kill him, the mainstream media want to kill him, the euthanasia lobby want to kill him and a vociferous mob of Twitter followers want to kill him. It’s enough to depress anyone to the point of despair. In a recent tweet, Cheryl Baker (yes, she of 1981 Eurovision Bucks Fizz fame) seemed to sum up the general attitude of the misguided ‘Kill Tony’ mob when she wrote: “My heart cries for Tony Nicklinson. If he was a dog there would be no ethical or moral decision to be made, just whatever is best for him.” But Tony is not a dog. Tony is a human being. Last week, thankfully, Tony failed in his attempt to change the law which serves to protect us all from murder. The upholding of the law was applauded by champions of justice and pro-life defenders of the disabled – and rightly so. Tony Nicklinson isn’t terminally ill; he is severely physically disabled but he is not dying; Tony has a life to live.
There are many forms of human suffering and we each suffer something at least once in our lives: severe illness; injustice; betrayal; loneliness; poverty; unemployment; crime; childbirth; bereavement; unfair discrimination etcetera. Sometimes our suffering is our own fault and sometimes it’s the fault of others. Suffering is inevitable and what matters is how we respond to suffering. Do we help ourselves or are we our own worst enemy? Do we wallow in self-pity or do we resolve to think positively?
Richard Dawkins read that and asked: “Does this set a record for smug nastiness?”
I think his article could perform a useful service in laying out, clearly and relentlessly, the full extent of the nastiness of which people of his persuasion – we inevitably get to the love of Jesus before we are through – are capable.
RIP, Tony Nicklinson, a man who proved that the State owns your body.