Monday, September 21, 2009

Quadriplegic Doesn't Have to Starve to Death, Dies

An Australian quadriplegic who last month won the legal right to starve himself to death at a nursing home died today, his family said.  Christian Rossiter, 49, passed away from a recent illness at the Brightwater home in the western city of Perth, according to an e-mailed statement.

“I thank all those who have made Christian’s life in his final years as comfortable and as dignified as possible,” his brother Tim Rossiter said.

Rossiter suffered spinal injuries in 2004 in a road accident and was left a spastic quadriplegic after a fall last year. The Supreme Court of Western Australia ruled last month that the nursing home should comply with his wishes if he asked to stop being fed and hydrated.

Rossiter, who had limited foot movement, could wriggle one finger and talk through a tracheotomy, asked the nursing home numerous times to stop feeding and hydrating him through a tube into his stomach before the matter went to court.

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