A British man who is severely disabled and fighting for the right to end his life has taken his argument to Twitter.
Tony Nicklinson suffered a catastrophic stroke several years ago. His mind is active and alert, but his body is paralyzed. All he can do is move his eyes, causing him to suffer a condition called "locked in syndrome."
Nicklinson has described his life as worthless. He wants the right to choose when he dies.
His family has taken his case to the highest court in Britain, arguing that if he is incapable of taking his own life, then somebody else should be able to do it for him without being jailed for murder. "The Ministry of Justice has petitioned the High Court to dismiss the case, arguing that Parliament would have to change the entire law in order to accommodate Nicklinson's wishes," the Christian Post reported on March 12, 2012. "Today a judge announced that the case will proceed."
What makes this right to die case unusual is that technology has enabled Nicklinson to participate in the discussion and take his case to "the court of public opinion."
Although all he can do is blink, he can use his eyes to instruct a computer to write sentences which are published on his Twitter page. As of this writing, Nicklinson has over 22,400 Twitter followers. His first Tweet was on June 13, just five days ago.
Given his popularity on Twitter, people are curious about whether Nicklinson will change his mind about his life being worthless. Right now, Nicklinson wants to find out what the court rules first before he says.
In the U.K. and U.S., Christian right groups have opposed right to die laws.