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AINTREE UNIVERSITY HOSPITALS NHS FOUNDATION TRUST v (1) DAVID JAMES (BY HIS LITIGATION FRIEND THE OFFICIAL SOLICITOR) (2) MAY JAMES (3) JULIE JAMES

It was in a patient’s best interests to have life-sustaining treatment withheld where the treatment would be futile and extremely burdensome to endure, and he would never recover enough from multiple organ failure to leave hospital. The appellant hospital trust appealed against a judge’s refusal to make a declaration that it would be lawful for treatment for the first respondent patient (J) to be withheld in the event of a clinical deterioration.

8 March 2013

1 March 2013

[2013] EWCA Civ 65

CA (Civ Div) – Laws LJ, Arden LJ, Sir Alan Ward

J had fought colon cancer and was left with a stoma. He was admitted to the hospital in May 2012 due to a complication with his stoma and then acquired an infection that was complicated by the presence of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and the development of an acute kidney injury and persistent low blood pressure. He suffered multi-organ failure, with respiratory failure, cardiovascular failure and renal failure and remained in hospital on ventilator support in the critical care unit. His condition continued to deteriorate and over a period of time he suffered necrosis, pneumonia, septic shock, acute myocardial infarction and a stroke. He remained in a minimally conscious state, although his family gave evidence of his responding to th...

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