The tragic story of paralysed Tony Nicholson has been heartbreaking to watch from the court decision last week that doctors could not end his life to his death today after refusing food and medication and finally dying of pneumonia.
The judges who refused him the right to die were roundly condemned for their decision but as hard as it was to watch Mr Nicholson suffering, it really was the lesser of two evils.
I fully understand the argument that the courts were heartless to leave a fellow human in such needless suffering but this was an highly emotive case and bad laws are often made by emotional responses.
We have to consider what we would be left if we set a precedent that gave someone the right to choose the time they die or for that decision to be made by another person.
In Mr Nicholson's case it might seem uncontroversial but the precedent it could have set would have major repercussions. It would be misused that is without doubt and my concern is for people who feel they are becoming a burden on their family.
What about the elderly person who feels they have become a liability or those who come under pressure from their relatives especially if an inheritance is on the horizon. What about those who are struggling to look after a sick or disabled spouse who can claim they agreed to voluntary euthanasia afterwards or those who do not have the capacity to articulate their feelings but have the decision made for them by a well meaning relative or doctor.
Far too many avenues for abuse and chronic misjudgments so as much as it pains me to say it, the courts decision on Mr Nicholson was the right one to make. Horrible to see and my heart goes out to the Nicholson family who would undoubtedly disagree with everything i have said here but it was to stop a greater evil further down the road.