A Leeds man who was paralysed after a road accident 20 years ago has vowed to continue his fight to die with dignity after his case was rejected by the European Court of Human Rights today.
Former builder Paul Lamb, 59, from Bramley, joined the family of the late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson in their latest right-to-die legal challenge to campaign for disabled people having the right to be helped to die with dignity.
But in a written judgment, the court said: “In its decision in the case of Nicklinson and Lamb v. the United Kingdom the European Court of Human Rights has unanimously declared the applications inadmissible. The decision is final.”
However, Mr Lamb said they also ruled that he hadn’t exhausted all domestic possibilities as his argument hasn’t been taken to the Supreme Court.
Speaking to the YEP, Mr Lamb said: “My initial thought was that it was a disappointment.
“But when I spoke to my new legal team, they said my case is somewhat different to Tony’s and we should take it through the courts in this country so it can be dealt with properly on its own merits.
“The next step will be my legal team getting a case together so we can almost start from the beginning and take on the domestic courts.
“It’s a new start, so we are still hopeful – more so than we have ever been.
“This time we are a little more armed with what will happen along the way.
“It has opened the doors to a new future.
“When I first started this, it was quite scary. I wasn’t eating properly and I was in a right mess. Now I am actually looking forward to this new fight.
“This time you will see something different about me.”
He added: “The irony of it all is that you have cases where the courts can decide, ‘Yes, we will end a life’, like with comas and things like that, but there are others like me out there who think, ‘I can’t take it any more,’ but you are powerless.”
Lawyer Saimo Chahal, who represents the Nicklinson family, said: “The judgment is disappointing but not the end of the road.”