Wife makes emotional appeal in Court to end husband’s life support

The Court of Protection is this week hearing the case of a wife who wishes to have her husband’s life support withdrawn.

Paul Briggs has been minimally conscious since he was involved in a motorbike accident in 2015. Lindsey Briggs, Paul’s wife, made an application to the Court of Protection asking them to withdraw Paul’s life-support treatment on the basis that he would not have wanted to live in his current state. Doctors are opposing the application.

The court heard from medical experts who predicted that even in the best case scenario Mr Briggs would remain severely disabled and could live 9 or 10 years. Mrs Briggs said her husband valued his independence and having this taken away would be torture for him. The couple have a five year old daughter and Mr Briggs had been a very “hands on father” before the crash.

The hearing is expected to last for four days.

This very sad case really highlights the need to make health and welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). Had Paul Briggs made a health and welfare LAP before his accident appointing his wife as his attorney and giving her the authority to give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment, then her decision would have overridden the advice from Mr Briggs’ medical team and the doctors would have had to withdraw life support.

Lindsey Sharples is a solicitor in the private client team at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich.

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