Application by the NHS Trust for a declaration that the P lacks capacity to consent or refuse medical treatment, including ventilation and CANH and for an order that it is lawful and in his best interests for ventilation and for food and hydration to be withdrawn and for such palliative care as is appropriate to be provided in order to maximise his dignity and ensure he does not suffer unnecessarily. The declaration was made.
On 6 November 2020 at home the P suffered a cardiac arrest. In the course of it his heart stopped for at least 45 minutes before cardiac rhythm was restored. In the absence of blood flow, irreversible brain damage becomes progressive from around five minutes at normal temperatures. Over five weeks later, the P remains in a coma in hospital. It is, therefore, self-evident that he lacks capacity to make a decision for himself. It is common ground amongst all the medical professionals and accepted by all the family that he at best will never recover beyond a low level minimally conscious state. He will, therefore, not regain capacity at any time. The NHS Trust applied to be able to withdraw ventilation and CANH which was supported by his wife but opposed by other members of his family who he had not been in contact with for some years.
The court had to weigh up the views of the P's wife and those of the other family members, especially in relation to the P's religious faith. The court concluded that if the P were able to make decision for himself in his current predicament, he would not wish his life to be preserved. The declaration was granted.
Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii
This judgment was appealed by the other members of the family (see JB v University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust & Anor (Rev 1)  EWCA Civ 1772).
Case summaries on every Court of Protection case & other relevant decisions with links to the full judgment where available.
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