The Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust was seeking a declaration that it was in the Patient’s (who is in a Minimally Conscious State (MCS)) best interests to receive clinical treatment including clinically assisted artificial nutrition and hydration (CANH). The application was refused.
The Patient is in a Minimally Conscious State (MCS) following brain damage sustained in December 2016. Ultimately it was a matter for the court to determine what a patient in this Patient’s position would have wished for herself. Both doctors unhesitatingly agreed that if the Patient’s wishes could be ascertained in this process they should be determinative of the outcome. This, they considered, would be conclusive of her best interests.
The court refused the Trust's application saying: "[The Patient's] present high level of dependency and minimal awareness would, to her, have been ‘a travesty of life’, to adopt her own phase. Many other people have wholly different views; [the Patient] is entitled to hers. Her incapacitous state does not mean her wishes can be disregarded. Her family, each of them, has permitted her voice to be heard and thus enabled her to assert her own autonomy."
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