Re: Mrs. N – Court of Protection – withdrawal of Artificial Nutrition and Hydration from a minimally conscious patient
19th November 2015
This ground breaking case is the first in which the Court has authorised the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration (ANH) from an incapable patient who, although in a state of very reduced consciousness, is clinically stable and still exhibiting some awareness. The decision puts the autonomy of the patient firmly at the heart of judicial decision making: as the judge remarks this is not a case about the right to die but concerns the right of this unfortunate woman to live her life at the end of her days in a way that she would have wished. Respect for her human dignity and her freedom overwhelms the presumption that there should be any further prolongation of her life.
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