Tony Nicklinson, the man with 'locked-in syndrome' who is challenging the law to allow a doctor to help him die, has revealed that he may say goodbye to friends and family on Twitter.
The 58-year-old is currently embroiled in a legal battle over his right to self-determination. Mr Nicklinson was paralysed from the neck down since he suffered a stroke in 2005. He is unable to talk, and can only communicate with the outside world by flicking his eyelids.
His case is due to be heard in the High Court this week.
His legal case revolves around two potential arguments. His solicitor Saimo Chahal of Bindmans will argue that the common-law defence of necessity should be extended to cover any doctor who helps Mr Nicklinson die. Alternatively, she will argue that the current law on murder and assisted suicide are incompatible with Mr Nicklinson's right to 'privacy, dignity and autonomy' under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Mr Nicklinson is able to communicate via a specially adapted computer which can turn his blinks into words on screen. This has allowed him to join Twitter, where he has recently attracted thousands of followers in just a few days, many of whom have sought to persuade him to drop his case.
Mr Nicklinson told The Independent: "I do believe that it is a person's first human right to be able to determine when, where and how to end his own life. All this talk about a person's life being 'a gift from god and only he can decide when a person's life can end' is utter rubbish."
"I feel that I am denied my most basic human right; I object to society telling me that I must live until I die of natural causes and I will do all I can to restore those rights," he added.
Mr Nicklinson's case has attracted comment and support from unlikely sources. One of the neurologists who helped Mr Nicklinson stay alive after his stroke in Athens has publicly expressed surprise that Mr Nicklinson is still alive.
Speaking to the channel 4 Dispatches programme, Dr Stelios Doris said: "Death is more normal than to stay alive in this condition. So when I was informed that he was still alive I was surprised and sad also. I wouldn't like for even for my worst enemy to stay alive in this condition for so many years."
Tony Nicklinson: 'Perhaps I'll say goodbye on Twitter' (The Independent)