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|Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust v JF (2018) EWCOP 32||
Tracheostomy tube, escalation, morphine
"... N suffered a cardiac arrest in the taxi as she was arriving at Leeds General Infirmary and as a result for some 20 minutes or so ceased breathing and suffered a severe hypoxic injury. In consequence she has suffered a very significant and severe brain injury. The position now and since then has remained that she is essentially unconscious. ... The issues before me have been threefold. First, whether or not the tracheostomy tube should be removed. ... The second issue has rather retreated in significance. I have to consider whether or not N should receive an escalation of invasive care or treatment, in particular vasoactive drugs, renal replacement therapy, ventilation treatment that requires central venous action or CPR. ... That brings me on to morphine, and that is a difficult issue."
|NHS Trust v Y (2018) UKSC 46||
Court order not always necessary for withdrawal of CANH
"The question that arises in this appeal is whether a court order must always be obtained before clinically assisted nutrition and hydration, which is keeping alive a person with a prolonged disorder of consciousness, can be withdrawn, or whether, in some circumstances, this can occur without court involvement. ... In conclusion, having looked at the issue in its wider context as well as from a narrower legal perspective, I do not consider that it has been established that the common law or the ECHR, in combination or separately, give rise to the mandatory requirement, for which the Official Solicitor contends, to involve the court to decide upon the best interests of every patient with a prolonged disorder of consciousness before CANH can be withdrawn. If the provisions of the MCA 2005 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. I would therefore dismiss the appeal. In so doing, however, I would emphasise that, although application to court is not necessary in every case, there will undoubtedly be cases in which an application will be required (or desirable) because of the particular circumstances that appertain, and there should be no reticence about involving the court in such cases."
|Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v TG (2019) EWCOP 21||
Death - wishes and feelings
"I am being asked to take today an irreversible decision that will lead inevitably to death sooner rather than later and probably within minutes or seconds of the tube being removed. I am being asked to do so in the face of what I find are the wishes and feelings of TG. ... I have come to the clear decision that it is in the patient's best interests that intubation should continue. I recognise that this places a huge burden on the treating team. It is against their advice and their wishes and of course also those of Dr Newman but I remind myself constantly, this is her life and her wishes as I have found them to be and nobody else's. It may be that if the position were to remain the same in six months' time or no successful tracheostomy had been carried out that different considerations might apply but I am not looking at the future, I am looking at things as they are now and for those reasons I reach my decision and refuse the application."
|University College London Hospitals v KG (2018) EWCOP 29||
"In this case the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust seeks the court's authority to administer a treatment known as PRN100 to a patient KG. KG is represented by the Official Solicitor. KG, the Official Solicitor on his behalf, his family and the Trust all ask for the court's approval. The matter is before the court because PRN100 has never been tested on or administered to any person anywhere. It is thus a completely novel treatment."