The widow of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson, who tirelessly campaigned to have the right to end his life, has said he would be 'really pleased' the former Archbishop of Canterbury's is backing laws to legalise assisted dying.
Jane Nickinson lost Tony two years ago but said she was 'amazed and thrilled' at Lord Carey's U-turn on the issue.
She told BBC 5 live's Stephen Nolan: "This is huge because the Church has always been one of our greatest opponents.
"I think Tony moved a lot of people but to hear he moved someone in such a prominent position - someone who is willing to come out and openly support our position - I'm just over the moon about it.
"I'm really pleased and I know Tony would be as well."
Mrs Nicklinson and paralysed former builder Paul Lamb lost a right-to-die fight in the UK's highest court last month, but said they were hopeful that change would come.
Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said he changed his views on assisted dying after being inspired by the case of locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson.
Mr Nicklinson battled for seven years to have the right to end his own life but it was refused and he died naturally aged 58 in 2012.
Writing in the Daily Mail, Lord Carey said: "It was the case of Tony Nicklinson that exerted the deepest influence on me,"
"Here was a dignified man making a simple appeal for mercy, begging that the law allow him to die in peace, supported by his family.
"His distress made me question my motives in previous debates. Had I been putting doctrine before compassion, dogma before human dignity?"
The UK's highest court is expected to give its decision on right-to-die cases later today.
Nine judges, headed by court President Lord Neuberger, will rule on what has been dubbed a "super-case" - three cases rolled into one which want the law on assisted suicide changed.
One legal battle has been brought by the widow of the late Tony Nicklinson, who has joined forces with severely disabled Paul Lamb, a lorry driver who was paralysed from the neck down in a car accident and a locked-in syndrome sufferer "Martin".
Speaking at the start of the case in December last year, Jane Nicklinson said she was "hopeful" there would be an outcome in her favour and said it was "quite significant" the case would be heard by nine judges, opposed to the usual five.
Locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson's widow and a paralysed victim have pledged to continue to challenge right-to-die law.Read the full story ›
The family of late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson and paralysed road accident victim Paul Lamb have lost their right-to-die challenges at the Court of Appeal in London.
ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports:
Lord Falconer has told ITV News it is up to parliament to legalise assisted suicide for the terminally ill.
The Labour peer is to table a private members bill on the issue.
He said: "People are going to the courts to try to resolve a problem that parliament should be resolving, and that problem is what are the circumstances in which you should be allowed to assist somebody else to die."
The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, has said it would be "sensible" for the Crown Prosecution Service to seek the views of the Supreme Court before amendments are made to law on right-to-die cases.
The family of late locked-in syndrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson and paralysed road accident victim Paul Lamb lost their right-to-die challenges at the Court of Appeal in London today.
While I respect the carefully considered judgment of the Court of Appeal, I think it would be sensible for the CPS, if possible, to have the benefit of the views of the Supreme Court before any amendments are made to the DPP’s Guidelines in this important and sensitive area of the law.
Tony Nicklinson's widow Jane has told ITV News she will continue the fight for assisted suicide to become legal for "as long as (she) possibly can".
Mrs Nicklinson said she and her legal team believe judgements over the right-to-die are a matter for the courts, rather than just Parliament.
And she said the long-running fight, which she now leads alongside paralysed campaigner Paul Lamb, was never "just about Tony".
Today's Court of Appeal rulings came nearly a decade after locked-in sydrome sufferer Tony Nicklinson began his fight to change the law on assisted suicide.
Click here to read the timeline of his legal struggle, which is now pursued by his widow Jane and two daughters following his death in August last year.
The Christian Legal Centre has backed the Court of Appeal's rejection of right-to-die cases brought by Tony Nicklinson's family and Paul Lamb and warned against law makers being "swayed by clever PR based on hard cases".
“We’re relieved that the judges have upheld the current law on murder," Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Legal Centre, said in a statement. "It’s there for our protection and doesn’t need changing."
She went on:
It was always unlikely that the Court would rule in favour of Lamb and Nicklinson. But the legal battle is part of a bigger strategy of the anti-life lobby. The cases get lots of media attention, the spotlight turns on Westminster and pressure is built up for MPs to change the law.