News By/Courtesy: Himani Aggarwal | 09 Apr 2018 3:07am IST

The Court of United Kingdom was dealing with the case of a lady who was suffering from a rare neurological disorder called Huntington’s disease, which rendered her in a ‘Minimally Conscious State’. The Court proceedings were initiated for permission to withdraw the Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration (CANH) given to the patient on the ground that it was not in her best interests to continue the treatment. After considering the testimonies of her mother, other family members and doctors, Justice Peter Jackson of the Court of Protection reached the conclusion that it was not in the patient’s best interest to continue the CANH, and permission was accorded to withdraw the same and the court held that decisions to withdraw life support treatment to patients in Permanent Vegetative State(PVS) or Minimally Conscious State(MCS) need not always be taken with judicial approval. It was held that if the decision was taken on the agreement between doctors and the family members in accordance with the professional guidelines, Court intervention was not a mandatory requirement.

The Court stated that a decision on such a matter should be guided by the following considerations under the Mental Capacity Act:-

  • Where a person is unable to make a decision for herself, there is an obligation to act in her best interests.
  • Where a decision relates to life-sustaining treatment, the person making the decision must not be motivated by a desire to bring about death.
  • When determining what is in a person’s best interests, consideration must be given to all relevant circumstances, to the person’s past and present wishes and feelings, to the beliefs and values that would be likely to influence her decision if she had capacity, and to the other factors that she would be likely to consider if she were able to do so.
  • Account must be taken of the views of anyone engaged in caring for the person or interested in her welfare.

Section Editor: Krishna Srinivas V | 09 Apr 2018 10:42am IST

Tags : #Euthanasia

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