Personal Solicitors Ipswich – Supreme Court rules on life-sustaining treatment

The case of Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v James (2013) has brought to the fore how critical care unit teams in hospitals and courts should decide, when it is in the best interests of a patient who is mentally incapable to decide for himself, whether to be given or not to be given life-sustaining treatment. The Supreme Court has for the first time confirmed that each case should be taken on its own facts and that medical teams and the courts should consider 1) what the treatment would involve, 2) what the outcome for the patient would be, 3) what the patient would have wanted and 4) that the family and friends who care for the patient should be consulted. This case highlights why it is important to make an Advance Decision or Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, so that these decisions can be made in advance and accordingly avoid the need for court to be involved.


James Skellorn is a personal solicitor at Barker GoteleeIpswich Solicitors 

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