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‘Battle goes on’, vows Leeds right to die man

Paul Lamb

Paul Lamb

A PARALYSED Leeds man fighting for the right to die may take his battle to the European Court of Human Rights.

Paul Lamb lost his appeal at the Supreme Court last month, though the decision challenged Parliament to take up the issue.

Now the 58-year-old’s legal team are taking steps to enable the case to be taken to the European Court in Strasbourg.

“I feel strongly that I want to fight this with everything I’ve got,” he said.

“I don’t plan on backing down, and I’ve got the right solicitor for that. I’m ready to do whatever it takes.”

Mr Lamb, from Bramley, Leeds, was left quadriplegic following a car accident in 1990 and is in constant pain.

He took his case, which calls for a change in the law so medical workers can help people to end their lives if they are physically unable to themselves, to the Supreme Court after losing a Court of Appeal hearing.

The case was brought with Jane Nicklinson, whose late husband Tony began the challenge. After losing the first round of the battle in the High Court in 2012, the locked-in syndrome sufferer began refusing food and died a week later.

The Supreme Court, the highest court in the country, ruled against Mr Lamb and Mrs Nicklinson by a seven-two majority last month.

But they ruled the court does have the “constitutional authority” to intervene in the debate – which challenges Parliament to re-examine the issue.

The Leeds man says this is a positive step.

“I don’t see it as a defeat,” he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

“Even though we had lost it, I felt very proud of myself. It didn’t matter to me that the judges voted seven-to-two against. I was seeing the bigger picture.”

He said that initial moves were being made to also take the case to the European Court, rather than waiting for Parliament to act.

Though an application for Legal Aid is being made, it may not be granted and funding is also needed to enable the case to be pursued.

“However I can, I will fight this,” Mr Lamb added.

“While we’ve got this awareness, we want to keep it going and apply as much pressure as we can.”

* Anyone who can help with funding should contact katie.baldwin@ypn.co.uk.

 

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