A chronically ill man has been granted by the NSW Supreme Court the right to turn off the machines that helped keep him alive for almost two decades.
The young man, known as JS, became a quadriplegic at the age of seven and could not breathe without a ventilator.
His wish was to die on his 28th birthday, and a judge granted staff at Newcastle's John Hunter Hospital permission to help him lawfully.
JS had been in the hospital's intensive care unit for almost a year, where he endured autonomic hyperreflexia, which is most commonly associated with spinal cord injuries.
His heart began to deteriorate and he suffered constant urinary infections.
Fairfax reports that JS made the decision to end his life and signed a dictated statement by placing a pen in his mouth.
"My body has begun to deteriorate rapidly and because of this I have also begun losing my quality of life," JS said. "Please give me the control over the care that I receive that every other patient is afforded, and I know is my right."
JS's ventilator was switched off and he died a short time later.