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Family lose right-to-life case

The Court of Protection has agreed to a hospital trust’s request to withhold life-saving treatment from a severely brain-damaged man, despite his family’s objections.

8 October 2012

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Doctors argued it would be unfair to resuscitate the patient (‘L’), if his condition worsened, although the family of the 55-year-old patient say their religious faith requires everything to be done to prolong life.

L, a devout Muslim, suffered severe brain damage in July following a third cardiac arrest.

Mr Justice Moylan said in his judgment today (8 October 2012) that it would be lawful to withhold treatment as it would not prolong his life “in any meaningful way”. He added: “It would result in death being characterised by a series of harmful interventions without any realistic prospect of such treatment producing any benefit.”

The judge refused the family permission to appeal, although they have the option of asking the Court of Appeal itself to intervene.

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Vulnerable Clients