Life or Death Decision: Terminally Ill Lawyer in Hungary Appeals to Legally Die With Dignity

  • 29 Sep 2023 8:57 AM
  • Hungary Around the Clock
Life or Death Decision: Terminally Ill Lawyer in Hungary Appeals to Legally Die With Dignity
Mortally ill lawyer Dániel Karsai has turned to the European Court of Human Rights to let him die in dignity.

The 46-year-old was diagnosed with the fatal disease ALS in August of 2022.

He wrote on Facebook that ALS is a moto-neuron disease that causes the nerve cells that move the muscles to become atrophied, eventually leading to complete paralysis. At the end of the disease the respiratory functions cease and death occurs.

As the illness does not affect the mental abilities, the above must be experienced with a completely clear consciousness, Karsai said, adding that ALS is the disease that afflicted physicist Stephen Hawking.

Stating his firm conviction that a human being should have the right to end his life with dignity instead of senseless suffering, Karsai said his personal and professional opinion is that “the complete ban on end-of-life decisions in Hungary” violates basic human rights.

Under current legislation, Hungary “with extraterritorial powers can pursue abroad those who provide assistance in a dignified departure, i.e. family members, friends, or doctors”, he said.

Ultimately, he emphasised, he would like to use his personal case to start “a meaningful dialogue on the extremely difficult and understandably divisive topic of end-of-life decisions, with maximum respect for different points of view.”

The court accepted his request for urgency and will hold a public trial on November 28.

Photo: courtesy of the lawyer's Facebook page

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