"A man who was left paralysed and seemingly unable to communicate following a traffic accident was saved from having his life support machine turned off when he managed to blink three times to tell doctors that he did not want to die.Rudd, a 43 year old father of three, was paralyzed after being thrown from his motorcycle. His family was convinced that he would not have wanted to live in this condition, however, thanks to the attentive care of a doctor, Rudd was able to communicate his desire to live by blinking.
Richard Rudd's family had been agonising about turning off life support, his father said, after his son had said he would not want to live in a paralysed state.
But his son's remarkable response raises questions about when life should end and about how and when a family can decide if their loved one has suffered enough."
The BBC ran a documentary on this subject:
According to the BBC website, Richard is now able to make facial expressions and his long-term memory is intact. He has been moved to a different unit nearer his home in Worcester and, after seeing slow but steady improvements, Richard Rudd Senior has changed his view.
"We all sit round and talk in the pub or at work and say 'if this happened to me, turn the machine off'. It's all hypothetical and you don't know until it happens to yourself. As a family and friends, if that person can't decide for themselves, sometimes you feel that you can decide for them. Because, in theory, you think you can never live in that situation, you sometimes put that judgement onto somebody else. At the end of the day, you probably have no right to do that. But now Richard's in the situation where that's actually happened. It's real life - it's not pretend. He is in that situation. The will to live takes over."