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State of play: case summaries

Elizabeth Eyre and Jennifer Ridgway consider case law concerning a patient's right to refuse treatment, the appropriate use of a negligence claim award and access to a vulnerable client

29 January 2016

Mr Justice Hayden heard this case as an application under section 15 Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA). It was for a declaration determining whether it was in the best interests of Mrs N to receive life sustaining treatment by means of Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration (CANH), currently provided through a Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastronomy (PEG) tube into her stomach.

The application was brought by Mrs N's child, M, who strongly believed this intervention was contrary to N's best interests. N was 68 at the time of the application and profoundly impaired both physically and cognitively, as a result of the progressive degenerative impact of multiple sclerosis.

N had suffered particularly badly from the disease for 23 years. The judge decided that in order to display his reasoning, it was necessary to give details of the progression of the disease and Mrs N's response...

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