A man in his 30s who is in the advanced stages of Huntington’s disease and repeatedly pulls out a feeding tube attached to his stomach should be allowed to die, a judge has ruled.
Vikram Sachdeva QC acted for the Official Solicitor and Victoria Butler-Cole acted (pro bono, instructed by Irwin Mitchell) for the patient’s mother.
The man had removed the tube about 120 times, Mr Justice Hayden was told during the hearing at the court of protection in London. The man’s mother and an aunt told the judge they believed he “wants to go”.
A consultant neurologist said it would not be right – and futile – for medics to force the feeding tube on the man.
Hayden concluded that the tube should not be reinserted, even though this would hasten the man’s death.
The judge heard evidence from specialists, a nurse, and relatives at a public hearing in the specialist court – which considers issues relating to sick and vulnerable people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions – in London on Friday.
He said the man, whose father had died of Huntington’s disease, could not be identified. But he said bosses at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University hospitals NHS Trust had responsibility for the man’s care and had asked for a ruling on what treatment would be in his best interests.
To read the full article, from The Guardian (12/2/16), please click here.