- Treating clinicians must consider whether continuing to sustain life is in the patient’s best interests (North West London Clinical Commissioning Group v GU)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: The court had previously determined that GU would not have wanted his life to be prolonged in the circumstances in which he found himself and it was not in GU’s best interests for clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) to be continued. However, the court was concerned that GU’s dignity had not been properly protected because of the extended period during which it has been continued and that is the subject of this judgment. Mr Justice Hayden was very critical of the hospital’s failure to ever consider whether the CANH was in GU’s best interests. Having analysed the nature of human dignity and the relevant domestic and international case law, he found that GU’s treatment had become burdensome and futile and entirely contrary to what he would have wanted. His dignity has been avoidably compromised. Written by Christine Cooper, barrister at Field Court Chambers.
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