Dubai: Former Sharjah resident Tony Nicklinson had a death wish.
The locked-in syndrome sufferer died on Wednesday in his native Wiltshire, England, after failing to win assurance that doctors could help him end his life. The right-to-die campaigner died of pneumonia.
An XPRESS report earlier this year revealed UAE residents’ shock at Nicklinson’s plea to end his life in a dignified manner in the UK. However after that plea was rejected last week, the former rugby player and chair of the Sharjah Wanderers Sports Club was found dead six days later. Medical reports indicate pneumonia to be the cause of death brought on after Nicklinson decided to starve himself to death.
Minutes before his death, Nicklinson asked a family member to tweet on his behalf, “‘Goodbye world the time has come, I had some fun.” The 58-year-old’s family told the British media he “died peacefully,” at 10am UK time on August 22.
The father-of-two said last week that he had been condemned by the law to “a life of increasing indignity and misery”.
A stroke in 2005 left him with locked-in syndrome, a condition which leaves his entire body paralysed except for his mind.
The British High Court judges ruled that if no doctor was allowed to help Nicklinson die, then his only option would be to die by starvation.
A tweet posted on Nicklinson’s profile, which is regularly updated by family members on his behalf, read: ‘You may already know, my Dad died peacefully this morning of natural causes. He was 58.’
Another tweet, attributed to his wife, Jane, and grown-up children Lauren and Beth, said: ‘Thank you for your support over the years. We would appreciate some privacy at this difficult time.’
His daughter Beth, writing on her personal Twitter profile, paid tribute to her late father. She posted: “RIP @TonyNicklinson. Couldn’t have asked for a better dad, so strong. You are now at peace, we will be fine. I love you xxx.”