Let’s remind ourselves:
Suicide (and assisted suicide) is legal!
You don’t need to justify it. You don’t need to ask permission.
If you are able-bodied, you just do it!
The question “whose life is it anyway?” was answered decades ago: if you are able-bodied, it is your life.
What is special for Tony Nicklinson and others is that their disabilities stops them doing it for themselves. In any enlightened country, we would help disabled people achieve what able-bodied people can legally achieve. Mostly the UK aims for that. In this case the UK falls short.
What sort of person could say:
I accept that your are able to express your views, and I accept that you are suffering, and I accept that you would commit suicide if you could, but I stand in the way. My ideology, which I accept that you don’t share, means that I must stop you achieving an end which in other circumstances would be legal.
An evil person says that! Would any other sort of person say that?
A thought experiment
I understand that Tony can tweet. Suppose someone sets up equipment that would kill Tony if he tweeted a certain message. What are the implications, given that in this thought experiment only Tony could actually complete the act?
I suspect that the person who set up the equipment would get into trouble. But why? (OK – because of a silly out-of-date law!)
If someone (inadvertently) walked into the room and saw that equipment, what would they do? Knowing what I currently know, I would leave it alone – and I am happy to go on record with this statement.
Is there anyone who would disable the equipment?
What would be going through that person’s mind?