End-of-Life decisions: Who makes them?
Posted on 1st August 2018 at 09:12
Before the Supreme Court's Judgement handed down on 30th July 2018, the right to make an end-of-life decision on behalf of someone in a vegetative state was controlled by the Court of Protection. Also controlling a person's affairs should they lack capacity and not have appointed an Attorney (see Lasting Powers of Attorney and who should make one), the Court of Protection previously ruled on cases such as whether a person's feeding tubes should be withdrawn, allowing a person to die naturally, when they are unable to make the decision themselves.
Although both the patient's family and the Doctors may agree that removing the feeding tubes is the best way forward for a person in a vegetative state, the Doctors usually have to apply to the Court of Protection to rule that they are allowed to do so. However, following yesterday's Judgement, if both the patient's family and the Doctors are in agreement, they can now remove the tubes of a person without going through the Court.