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MEDICAL TREATMENT/ VULNERABLE ADULT: AVS v A NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2746 (COP)
(Court of Protection; Sir Nicholas Wall P; 2 November 2010)
There was no evidence of the patient's awareness of self or of environment. The family was certain that the patient was responding to stimuli. The court was asked to decide as matter of urgency whether medical treatment to prolong life should continue to be given to the patient.The hospital considered that medical treatment should not be continued. The brother was acting as next friend and wanted treatment to be given and reported a complete breakdown of trust.
The brother lacked the objectivity needed to act as a next friend. It was unlikely in the extreme that the court would order the clinician to undertake medical intervention that the clinician did not believe was in the best interests of the patient. Unless the brother could within 14 days obtain a clinical opinion that that the medical treatment in question would be in the patient's best interests, proceedings would be dismissed.
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