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Home   Dartford   News   Article

Right-to-die campaigner Tony Nicklinson's daughters Lauren and Beth commend Coronation Street for debate over Hayley Cropper's death

22 January 2014
by KentOnline reporter

Lauren and Beth Nicklinson, of Tudor Close, Dartford, watched their 58-year-old father Tony die a painful death, despite a protracted case through the courts.

The former Cranbrook rugby player suffered a stroke in 2005 that left him with locked-in syndrome and paralysed from the neck down.

Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane. Picture SWNS.COM

Tony Nicklinson with his wife Jane. Picture: SWNS.COM

He was left unable to speak and could only move his head and blink.

In 2009, Mr Nicklinson expressed a wish to end his life, but as he was unable to do it himself, his family started legal proceedings to assist with his suicide.

After the High Court refused voluntary euthanasia, Mr Nicklinson was diagnosed with a collapsed lung and, knowing he could not die with dignity as he wished, he refused treatment and eventually died.

This week, millions of viewers tuned into Coronation Street as terminal cancer sufferer Hayley Cropper took the decision to end her own life with the support of her husband Roy after her health rapidly deteriorated.

As Hayley Cropper [JULIE HESMONDHALGH] insists she's determined not to be defined by her illness, Roy Cropper [DAVID NEILSON] vows to be strong for her.

Hayley Cropper (Julie Hesmondhalgh) with her Coronation Street husband Roy (David Neilson)

Unlike Mr Nicklinson, Hayley was in the position to physically end her own life, which she did on the nation's screens by swallowing a cocktail of drugs.

Although the debate on her suicide is not the same as that which surround the debate on euthanasia, the two are linked in terms of a person's right to die.

Should a person's choice to take their own life be removed, simply because they are physically unable hold the poison to their own lips?

On Twitter, Lauren and Beth, who look after the @TonyNicklinson account, said: "So what's everyone's thoughts on #corrie? Vote in this poll: www.hayleyschoice.co.uk #GoodbyeHayley"

Sisters Lauren and Beth Nicklinson from Dartford

Sisters Lauren and Beth Nicklinson from Dartford

After 15 replies saying Hayley was right to end her life if she wanted to, the girls tweeted: "Well done and thank you to @itvcorrie for doing the #righttodie storyline such justice. Heartbreaking, but any death is. People deserve choice."

They added that although the situation is "very different" to that which their father faced, "it is a step in the right direction".

Lauren, 26, added: "I want people to at least accept that people should have a choice on whether they want a dignified, peaceful passing, or slow and horrific death like our father."

Beth said: "Although it's not exactly the same situation, anything which will bring up the debate over somebody's right to die will help our own case, which we still fight in memory of our father. The discussion can only be a good thing."

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