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The widow of a man who campaigned for the right to assisted dying has welcomed a change of heart by the former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey.
Jane Nicklinson from Melksham, who's husband Tony was paralysed, says she's delighted the former Bishop of Bath and Wells has changed his mind, and believes others in the church will now speak out in support of assisted dying.
David Woodland reports:
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 a locked-in syndrome sufferer from Wiltshire.
Tony Nicklinson from Melksham 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?"
A former Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of Bath and Wells has broken free with the Church of England's stance on assisted dying and said it would not be 'anti-Christian' to legalise it.
Writing in the Daily Mail, George Carey said he would be backing legislation tabled by Lord Falconer which proposes allowing doctors to prescribe a lethal dose to terminally ill patients with less than six months to live.
He warned that by opposing reform the Church risked 'promoting anguish and pain.'
It marks an extraordinary U-turn by the 78-year-old cleric, who was Bishop of Bath and Wells between 1988 and 1991, before becoming Archbishop of Canterbury.