The application was by the Hospital Trust for a declaration that it was lawful and in the best interests of NZ for ventilation and extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (“ECMO”) to cease. The latter was effectively oxygenating NZ’s blood, with a view to her lungs, which had become damaged by Covid-19, having an opportunity to heal. The medical evidence was that NZ’s lungs showed no signs of recovery and large parts of them had, effectively, died. The Court and parties recognised the extreme impact of this decision on NZ’s family: she was a young mother of a 3 year old and an infant, delivered by c-section when she was extremely unwell. The family position, accepted by the Court, was that NZ’s faith would be contrary to the cessation of treatment. The Court weighed up the factors relevant to NZ’s best interests and concluded that the Trust care plan of palliative care was in her best interests.
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