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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

30 SEP 2014

Russell J rules brain-damaged 1 year old should have life support withdrawn

Russell J rules brain-damaged 1 year old should have life support withdrawn
An NHS Trust has applied to the High Court for permission to withdraw treatment in respect of a 1-year-old boy. The boy suffered profound irreversible brain damage and specialists informed the court that it was in his best interests to have life-sustaining intensive care, including mechanical ventilation, withdrawn.

The parents opposed the application, claiming that treating clinicians did not have the right to end the boy’s life because he had brain damage.

At a hearing in the High Court on Monday 29 September 2014, Russell J granted the application, after balancing the boy’s best interests against his parents’ views, ‘very sadly’ and with ‘great reluctance’.

A reporting restriction order was put in place preventing the identification of the boy, his parents and the Trust. The latter restriction would remain in place for the remainder of the boy’s life.

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