Judgment Approved by the court for handing down.
Q on the appn of Nicklinson v MOJQ on the appn of AM v DPP
Lord Justice Toulson:
These are tragic cases. They present society with legal and ethical questions of themost difficult kind. They also involve constitutional questions. At the invitation of the court the Attorney General has intervened.2.
Put simply, the claimants suffer from catastrophic physical disabilities but theirmental processes are unimpaired in the sense that they are fully conscious of theirpredicament. They suffer from “locked in syndrome”. Both have determined thatthey wish to die with dignity and without further suffering but their condition makesthem incapable of ending their own lives. Neither is terminally ill and they face theprospect of living for many years.3.
I will refer to the claimants as Martin and Tony. Martin (which is not his real name)understandably wishes to preserve his privacy and the court has made an anonymityorder. Tony’s case has attracted a lot of public interest because he has taken part inpublic debate with the help of his wife, Mrs Nicklinson, and their daughters. As MrsNicklinson has said to the media, whatever the outcome of his case, there will be nowinners. Either way, there is no happy ending in sight.4.
Barring unforeseen medical advances, neither Martin’s nor Tony’s condition iscapable of physical improvement. Although they have many similarities, there aresome differences in their condition. There are also differences in the orders whichthey seek and the ways in which their cases have been presented.
Martin would be capable of physically assisted suicide, but this would involvesomeone else committing an offence under the Suicide Act 1961, section 2. It wouldbe possible for him to end his life at a Dignitas clinic in Zurich without an offencebeing committed under Swiss law; and if Martin’s wife were willing to help him to doso, it is unlikely that she would face prosecution in England under the policypublished by the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) about prosecution for assistedsuicide after the decision of the House of Lords in
R (Purdy) v DPP
 UKHL 45, 1 AC 345. But Martin’s wife, who is herself a nurse and devoted to his care, isunderstandably not willing to support Martin for that purpose, with which she doesnot agree, although she would wish to be with him to provide comfort and make herfinal farewell, if he were to succeed in his purpose by the help of others.6.
Martin’s main claim is against the DPP, but the Solicitors Regulation Authority(SRA) and the General Medical Council (GMC) have been included in theproceedings. Because of the importance of the issues, I would give Martin permissionto apply for judicial review.7.
In his claim Martin’s condition is described in this way:“6. Martin is 47 years old. He lives with his wife and hiswife’s daughter. In August 2008 he suffered a brainstem stroke. This has left him virtually unable to