Man with locked-in syndrome tweets using his eyes and is fighting for the right to die. Should he be allowed to end his life?
Tony Nicklinson can only communicate with his eyes, but on Wednesday the paralyzed man connected with the rest of the world through Twitter.
Nicklinson became completely paralyzed after a stroke in 2005 and suffers from locked-in syndrome, a condition in which patients can "think and reason" but don't have any control over voluntary muscles except "those that control blinking and vertical eye movements, according to a 2009 article published in the journal Nursing.
But on June 13, he sent his first Tweet with the help of a computer that follows his eye movements, Gizmodo observes.
Channel 4 Dispatches filmed the 57-year-old relaying the message as part of a segment about Nicklinson set to air on June 18, the Guardian reports. (Watch a preview in the video below.)
But there's more to Nicklinson's story than his journey to become part of a social network.
Nicklinson has been fighting for the right to put an end to his own life, which he calls "dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable," according to the BBC.
And in March, the husband and father of two received approval from a judge to have his case heard, the Associated Press reports.
The High Court is now scheduled to hear the case on June 18 -- the same day the Channel 4 Dispatches segment airs -- and Nicklinson will be asking the court to allow a doctor to euthanize him via lethal injection.
For now, Nicklinson's wife, Jane, says her husband's venture into social media offers him an avenue to share his ideas, no matter how controversial they may seem.
"He has never been one to be shy with what he says, this is something where he can do that," she told the Telegraph. "We know that there might be people on there who are very vocal about how they disagree [with him] but we are prepared for that.”
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