United Kingdom court ruling seen as landmark in right-to-die cases

When both medical staff and the patients’ family agree life support can now be ended without seeking court permission

Supreme Court Justice, Lady Black, recognised in her ruling that "no life is to be relinquished easily".

This means that, when the patient's family and a medical team are in agreement, it will now be easier to withdraw food and liquid, to allow people with a prolonged disorder of consciousness to die naturally.

Such cases can be costly and take months or years to resolve.

The ruling was made in the case of a banker, identified only as "Mr Y", who suffered a heart attack in June 2017 at the age of 52. Once we accept that death by dehydration is in some brain-damaged people's "best interests" we are on a very slippery slope indeed.

He never regained consciousness, and was being fed with clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH).

Is Court Intervention Essential Here?

Medical staff will now be able to remove feeding tubes in such cases without having to apply to the Court of Protection, under previous laws.

Lady Black, heading a five-judge bench in the case, said an agreement between families and doctors was sufficient safeguard to ensure "public confidence".

The High Court granted that declaration and gave permission to appeal directly to the Supreme Court.

The Official Solicitor appealed this decisionto the Supreme Court in a hearing in February.

Donald Trump calls on Jeff Sessions to stop Robert Mueller's Russian Federation probe
President, getting to the truth is critical for our security and democracy", the New York Democrat tweeted. That probe has since swept up officials in Trump's campaign and his family members.

What Did the Supreme Court Decide?

Advocacy group Care Not Killing said that it had "dramatically moved the goalposts on end of life decision-making". While the Human Rights Convention, which became made law in the United Kingdom through the Human Rights Act (1998), protects our right to life as one of our most fundamental rights, it doesn't talk about our right to a good death.

Prior to the Supreme Court ruling (pdf) on July 30, each case was referred to a judge before artificial nutrition and hydration could be withdrawn.

Assisted death has been a tricky issue for human rights, both here and overseas. "This would cross the line from reasonable withdrawal of inappropriate treatment into the realm of passive euthanasia".

Dr Philip Howard, immediate past president of the Catholic Medical Association, cited Pope John Paul II, who in 1994, described the administration of food and water, even when "provided by artificial means" as "a natural means of preserving life".

What Do People Think About This Decision?

'If the provisions of the MCA 2005 (Mental Capacity Act) are followed and the relevant guidance observed, and if there is agreement upon what is in the best interests of the patient, the patient may be treated in accordance with that agreement without application to the court'.

The Supreme Court in considering the case of Mr Y addressed whether this practice amounted to a legal obligation. Taking these decisions away from the Court of Protection removes an important layer of legislative scrutiny and accountability and effectively weakens the law.

"It will make it more likely that severely brain-damaged patients will be starved or dehydrated to death in their supposed "best interests" and that these decisions will be more influenced by those who have ideological or financial vested interests in this course of action".

Related:

  • GVC and MGM aim to 'dominate' USA  betting

    GVC and MGM aim to 'dominate' USA betting

    It will also allow an integration between MGM and GVC's loyalty programs to bring back existing customers and lure in new ones. GVC Holdings had been considering opportunities in the U.S. after the Supreme Court paved the way to legalise sport betting.

    First photo of Linda Hamilton in 'Terminator' reboot

    James Cameron himself is back to produce the new installment which takes place after the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day . Directed by Deadpool's Tim Miller , the new Terminator film is scheduled to open in theaters November 22, 2019.
    Audi teases PB 18 e-tron concept for Pebble Beach

    Audi teases PB 18 e-tron concept for Pebble Beach

    The concept was penned by the new Audi Design Loft in Malibu, California. As you'd expect, auto will be there to get the full story.
  • Castle used in 'Game of Thrones' up for sale

    Castle used in 'Game of Thrones' up for sale

    It's been partially developed and could house six apartments, each with an average of 3,5000 square feet of living space. It was actually built in the mid-1800s by the second Earl of Gosford, Archibald Acheson, and has changed hands for years.
    Mila Kunis says Ashton Kutcher's marriage to Demi Moore was 'normal'

    Mila Kunis says Ashton Kutcher's marriage to Demi Moore was 'normal'

    No Strings Attached featured Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman in the same situation. And I was like, 'Right, but by default this is the s-- that's going to go down'".
    Ranked Johnson wins Canadian Open

    Ranked Johnson wins Canadian Open

    The Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course has been slated for redevelopment by ClubLink, the property's owner. Mackenzie Hughes was the top Canadian finisher, tying for eighth place at 15 under after a 68 on Sunday.
  • Donald Trump Promotes Video Of Supporters Chanting 'CNN Sucks' At Florida Rally

    Donald Trump Promotes Video Of Supporters Chanting 'CNN Sucks' At Florida Rally

    Two CNN reporters were faced with pushback from White House officials recently while working in the pool spray. CNN has been repeatedly criticised by the President of the United States during press conferences.
    Google puts its foot down: No Android phones can have three notches

    Google puts its foot down: No Android phones can have three notches

    It was always unlikely, but this rules out the triple-notched Android phone you've all been dreading. More importantly, Google stated that each device can have a maximum of two cutouts.
    Digne signs for Everton

    Digne signs for Everton

    For me, it is a new challenge to discover a country, a league, people and a great club such as Everton . Barcelona have confirmed their second sale of the summer - and it's to another Premier League side.
  • Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo arrives for first training session with new club

    Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo arrives for first training session with new club

    He followed through with his desires last month by completing a mega-bucks move to Italy with Serie A champions Juventus . I feel honoured that Juve thought of me and I now want to take the club to an even higher level.
    Malkin: Power-Hungry Republicans are 'Biggest Enemies' to Trump's Border Demands

    Malkin: Power-Hungry Republicans are 'Biggest Enemies' to Trump's Border Demands

    Again, I think we're missing the point. "We are operators and work within the world of what is actually operationally achievable". Democrats have long opposed financing the wall but don't have enough votes by themselves to block House approval of that amount.
    Greek village grieves as wildfire death toll climbs above 90

    Greek village grieves as wildfire death toll climbs above 90

    More than 2,000 homes were damaged in the fire and roughly a quarter will have to be demolished, Greek officials said Friday. The vast majority of victims died in the fire itself, with some drowning while swimming out to sea fleeing the flames.

Comments

Latest news

United Kingdom far-right activist Tommy Robinson freed on bail
The court dismissed Robinson's appeal against an earlier contempt of court finding relating to a court case in Canterbury, Kent. Robinson was sentenced to 13 months in prison earlier this year after broadcasting footage of trial defendants on social media.

Tech exodus puts stocks US$300B in the red over 3 days
Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.07-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.30-to-1 ratio favoured decliners. The media company's board was set to meet on Monday to discuss personal misconduct allegations against CEO Leslie Moonves.

Trump Calls for Photo ID for Voting at Florida Rally
Trump is pointing to strong economic growth and low unemployment at the event with his daughter Ivanka Trump, Florida Gov. They don't care about stopping drugs from poisoning our youth and pouring over the border.

Trump’s Latest Tweet May Have Made Mueller’s Obstruction Case for Him
A Justice Department spokesperson said the department had no immediate comment on Trump's tweet about ending Mueller's probe. The tweet is sure to renew Democratic complaints that Trump is wrongly challenging the independence of the special counsel.

Three killed when plane bound for Prince Edward Island crashes in Greenville
Three people died Monday, July 30 when their small plane crashed in Greenville on its way to Prince Edward Island, police said. ET on Monday. "I have no information on the victims and do not expect any later today", he said in an email.

Tourists shocked as migrants land on packed Spanish beach
More than 19,580 people have landed on Spanish shores so far this year, according to the International Organisation for Migration. Spain's maritime rescue service says it has saved 123 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea from North Africa .

Chipotle gives away free guacamole on National Avocado Day
The Mexican restaurant chain is offering free guacamole on an entree, or a free side of guac, with any online and mobile app orders on Tuesday.

Patriots’ Jordan Matthews Has ‘Significant’ Hamstring Injury
The team will also have to play the first four games of 2018 without Julian Edelman due to an National Football League suspension. The New England Patriots released receiver Jordan Matthews on Wednesday, according to The Boston Globe's Jim McBride.

Conor McGregor Reveals Khabib Fight Is "Very Close"
Russia's Nurmagomedov now holds the lightweight title that was stripped from McGregor and is eager to face the Irishman. TMZ published a short interview with McGregor on Tuesday and asked him if a return to the Octagon is in his future.

Ricciardo on top for Red Bull in opening practice
Earlier this month Red Bull confirmed it will switch from Renault to Honda power for next season. The former champions won all 4 of their constructors titles with Renault between 2010 and 2013.

Liverpool duo Georgiinio Wijnaldum and Alisson together makes Kevin Strootman jealous
Summer signing Alisson has predicted that it will not be hard for him to settle into life at Liverpool . He has now joined Jürgen Klopp's men at their training base in France after his post-World Cup break.

Yemen’s Houthis ready to unilaterally halt attacks in Red Sea
The UN considers the conflict, which has left almost 10,000 people dead in Yemen, to be the world's worst humanitarian crisis. The experts are also investigating claims that Iran has provided the Houthis with $30m of fuel each month.

Manchester United target Zidane as Mourinho replacement
Jose Mourinho has said that he is "confident" of bringing one more player to Manchester United in this summer's transfer window.

Indonesia earthquake: 10 killed on tourist island of Lombok
In December 2004, a massive 9.1 magnitude quake off Sumatra triggered a tsunami that killed 230,000 people in a dozen countries. Indonesia is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire , an area that has a lot of seismic and volcanic activity.

JLR slips to £264 million pre-tax loss
We will leverage our product portfolio to grow faster and drive down costs to improve operating leverage of the business. This comes as its subsidiary, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), posted lower revenues due to fewer vehicles sold in the period.

Other news