UK: ‘Locked-In’ Tony Nicklinson Loses Court Bid for Euthanasia; Second Thoughts and NDY in Coverage

Yesterday – August 16th, Tony Nicklinson got an answer to his request to Britain’s High Court – to overturn the existing ban on euthanasia and allow his doctor to kill him with legal immunity when he requests it.  I wrote about Nicklinson a little over a month ago and little has changed regarding what I said then:

One sign of the skewed nature of media coverage and the times we live in is how little time and attention are given to the very real life-and-death situations facing people in the UK in the face of draconian shredding of the social safety net for disabled people.  Some of that shredding is already done and much more is to follow.  The majority of people with disabilities in the UK  are much more concerned with how they are going to survive in the face of these cuts rather than how they’re going to die – since these cuts are ensuring that death will come sooner and more painfully for many.  (If you think I’m exaggerating, check out this summary of the latest report gauging the effects of budget cuts to people in the UK.)

But of course that’s not getting that much coverage, especially considering the number of people who will be affected.  What does get coverage is when some selfish, self-absorbed disabled person makes loud public noises about wanting to kill himself – or, more accurately, wants to have someone else be able to legally kill him when he’s ‘ready.’  That’s not a hypothetical person, but describes Tony Nicklinson, who is getting worldwide coverage regarding his wish to have a doctor be able to kill him with a legal injection sometime in the future.

The public, of course, eats this up.  It’s so much easier to get behind the desire of a disabled person to kill himself than it is to support the needs of thousands of people who may require more of you – more support in the community and even a little more from your paycheck to support the services and supports needed for many disabled people to live decent lives.

It doesn’t cost a penny to support suicide for people with disabilities.  And it supports the notion that since our lives suck anyway, the best help we can receive is to make it easier for us to kill ourselves.

What has changed this time is that there is a little more outreach from some major media to disability activists and advocates than last time.   John Kelly, Director of  ‘Second Thoughts,’ appeared a second time on International CNN.  The video is below.  I apologize for the lack of closed captioning or transcript, but CNN isn’t very good about doing either of those for online content, at least in a consistent way.

Later today – Friday, August 17th – there will be a Huffington Post live video online chat about the Nicklinson case that Diane Coleman will be doing with (we think) 3 other people on Huffpost Live for 20 minutes or so, around 3 pm ET.  You can join the chat at this address:

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/502cf96f78c90a1a3900020f

We might be able to get link to the chat after the fact, but the more NDY supporters who sign on for the live event, the better!

3 thoughts on “UK: ‘Locked-In’ Tony Nicklinson Loses Court Bid for Euthanasia; Second Thoughts and NDY in Coverage

  1. I only question the seemingly negative “self-absorbed” as prejorative, if I’m reading it right. I think it’s OK to be self-absorbed. Why not?

    • Sanda,
      If someone wants to be self-absorbed, it’s a fine, if narrow, choice. I am speaking as someone who spent a significant amount of my life in self-absorption and still dedicate the odd moment or two toward the exercise. But part of Nicklinson’s spiel was that he felt he was advancing the rights of other disabled people. If he had taken a little time to look beyond his own immersion in feeling miserable, he might have noticed that the majority of disabled people in the UK are desperately concerned with how they are going to live in the face of growing government and public hostility toward them.

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