Family Law Titles
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(Court of Appeal; Ward, Patten and Black LJJ; 17 January 2011)
A 57 year old patient with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease lacked capacity. No medical practitioner was ready, willing and able to provide experimental treatment that the patient's next friend (his brother, a solicitor) considered should be given. The patient had expressed a clear wish that his life be prolonged as long as possible. The brother organised for the experimental treatment to be given, however, although initially successful, the patient's condition deteriorated to the point where the patient was in or near a vegetative state.
In AVS v A NHS Foundation Trust  EWHC 2746 (COP) the judge gave the brother 14 days to obtain a clinical opinion that that the medical treatment in question would be in the patient's best interests, or proceedings would be dismissed. The brother appealed. Application for permission to appeal refused.
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