In a case that challenges Britain's definition of murder, a severely disabled man who says his life has no "privacy or dignity" will be granted a hearing on his request that a doctor be allowed to give him a lethal injection.
Tony Nicklinson suffered a paralyzing stroke in 2005 that left him unable to speak or move below his neck. The former rugby player and corporate manager requires constant care and communicates largely by blinking, although his mind has remained unaffected.
"I am fed up with my life and don't want to spend the next 20 years or so like this," Nicklinson said in a statement.
In January, Nicklinson asked the High Court to declare that any doctor who kills him with his consent will not be charged with murder. On Monday, a judge said the request may proceed, making it the first right-to-die case of its kind to get a hearing in a British court.
The 57-year-old's condition is stable, though Nicklinson has refused since 2007 to take any life-prolonging drugs recommended by doctors, including heart medication or blood thinners.
The ministry of justice argued that granting Nicklinson's request would require changing the law on murder and that such changes must be made by Parliament. The government had applied to have the case dismissed.