'Right-to-die' locked-in syndome patient tweets

Locked-in sufferer Tony Nicklinson Photo:

A locked-in syndrome patient has been captured on film tweeting for the first time. Tony Nicklinson, a former rugby player, suffered a major stroke in Athens in 2005 that left him completely paralysed, though he is not in a vegetative state.

Mr Nicklinson, 57, uses special eye movement technology to access the social networking site. He wrote the message:

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Hello world. I am tony nicklinson, I have locked-in syndrome and this is my first ever tweet. #tony

After being on the website for less than 24 hours, he had almost 2,500 followers including his daughter Lauren. Mr Nicklinson can only communicate by means of a computer, which follows his eye movements.

Software then converts his eye movements into the letters of the alphabet and in turn into words and speech.

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@tonynicklinson Hi Dad! Very proud you are managing to work twitter! See you tomorrow evening. Love lauren xx

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Pls welcome my dad! "@tonynicklinson: Hello world. I am tony nicklinson, I have locked-in syndrome and this is my first ever tweet. #tony"

Channel 4 posted a video of the first time Mr Nicklinson tweeted. They reported that it is believed to be the first time ever a patient with this condition has tweeted using special eye movement technology.

Father of two, Mr Nicklinson became notable after he won the first round of his right to die case earlier this year. On Monday, he will go to the High Court with his family to ague that a doctor should be allowed to lawfully end his life. He summed as his life as "dull, miserable, demeaning, undignified and intolerable".

In an earlier statement, Mr Nicklinson said:

I have no privacy or dignity left. I am washed, dressed and put to bed by carers who are, after all, still strangers. I am fed up with my life and don't want to spend the next 20 years or so like this.

In the proceedings, Mr Nicklinson, who suffered a stroke in 2005 while on a business trip to Athens, is asking the High Court to grant declarations that a doctor could intervene to end his "indignity", with his consent and with him making the decision with full mental capacity, and have a "common law defence of necessity" against any murder charge.

Mr Nicklinson's wife Jane explained that his story will be featuring as part of a Channel 4 Dispatches programme on 18 June.