Friday, 4 December 2009A man who wanted to die after being left paralysed by a rugby accident is now celebrating a first class law degree and a job at a top city firm.
He is one of several people with a disabled or terminal condition who are glad they didn’t end it all, and who now live a life of value and meaning.
Matt King, who was 17 at the time of the accident, suffered injuries to his spine which left him permanently paralysed from the neck down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe.
His case has been compared to the tragic death of Daniel James, another young man who suffered a debilitating rugby injury and committed suicide at the Dignitas facility in Switzerland.
Mr King said of his accident: “I knew I had broken my neck straight away”.
He added: “The paramedics were asking me to move my toes and I couldn’t. It was completely terrifying.”
“My first thought was ‘let me die’ because my vision of what my life would be like was awful.
“But I realised in hospital that I’m still young and if I was going to lead a meaningful life I would need to get an education.”
Speaking against plans to legalise assisted suicide, disability rights campaigner Baroness Campbell said: “A change in the law based on the assumption that some lives are more valuable and worthwhile than others would alter the mindset of the medical and social care professions, persuading more and more people that actually the prospect of an ‘easy’ way out is what people such as me really want.”