I give the 'Cocklecarrots' a hard time on this blog but sometimes I think it must be one of the hardest jobs in the world - to sit in judgment over your fellow men and women and take decisions of momentous importance to the parties concerned and to society as a whole. For the last few days I have been unable to shake out of my head the truly appalling case of Mr. Tony Nicklinson who suffers with what is known in the jargon as 'locked-in syndrome'. Even the thought of it makes me shudder! Seven years ago Mr.Nicklinson, who is now 57 and married with two grown-up daughters, suffered a stroke which has left him with no ability to move or speak. He communicates via a computer. His only wish is to die - and who can blame him? And yet . . . and yet . . .
Mr. Nicklinson wants the law to be changed so that a doctor can despatch him quickly and relatively painlessly. Another appellant, known only as 'Martin', in a similar condition wanted the court to allow his relatives to assist him to visit Switzerland where euthanasia is permitted without fear of the law acting against them after the event. Both requests were turned down by the three judges of the High Court. The reasons for doing so are many and obvious and I will not rehearse them here but I was pleased and slightly surprised to read Lord Justice Toulsen's additional argument to the effect that such a radical change in the law was above and beyond the powers of the High Court and its judges. One doesn't expect too much in the way of humility from your average 'Cocklecarrot' but Toulsen was entirely right. It is not for judges to make such decisions but only our elected representatives in parliament. Yes, yes, I know, but they're all we have in the democratic system under which we all live, and at least we can toss the rascals out from time to time which is more than we can do to the 'Cocklecarrots'.
In the meantime, helplessly and hopelessly, one can only spare a thought for Mr. Nicklinson and 'Martin' and their respective families in the hellish predicament in which they find themselves. At moments like this I wish there was a God I could believe in and pray to for divine intercession - but there ain't! Sometimes life's a bitch - and then it rains!