Wife’s appeal to end husband’s life support – update

Following our December 7th article on the case of Paul Briggs and his wife Lindsey’s emotional plea to withdraw life support treatment, Mr Justice Charles of the Court of Protection has agreed that Mr Briggs would not have consented to receive clinically assisted nutrition and hydration.

The judge ordered that 43 year old Mr Briggs should be moved to a hospice and given palliative care in his remaining few weeks.

Whilst this is good news for Mr Briggs’ family as they are now able to honour his wishes, the Official Solicitor has applied for permission to appeal and so unfortunately, the process may drag on even longer.

Following the hearing Mrs Briggs said that “The court case was the hardest thing we have ever had to do but we did it for Paul, to honour his wishes” and said that the family “are grateful that Mr Justice Charles has show compassion towards Paul”. On learning about the wish to appeal she said that she was “dismayed” and added, “We feel overwhelming despair and sorrow, but we know we have to try to somehow cope and continue for Paul.”

This sad case highlights the importance of Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorneys, not only so that a person’s wishes can be upheld, but also to help reduce the emotional turmoil which we can only imagine Mrs Briggs is going through.

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

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