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Family Law

The leading authority on all aspects of family law

03 NOV 2014

Kirklees Council v RE, SE and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 3182 (Fam)

Kirklees Council v RE, SE and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 3182 (Fam)
(Family Division, Moor J, 3 October 2014)

[The judicially approved judgment and accompanying headnote has now published in Family Law Reports [2015] 1 FLR 1316]


Medical treatment – Withdrawal of life sustaining treatment – 6-month-old child had severe complex medical difficulties – Subject to interim care order – Application by local authority for declaration of lawfulness of withdrawal of life sustaining treatment

Please see attached file below for full judgment.

The local authority was granted a declaration that it was lawful and in the 6-month-old child’s best interests for life-sustaining treatment to be withdrawn.

The mother of the 6-month-old baby had a history of chronic alcohol and drug misuse. She had also worked as a prostitute and had a chaotic lifestyle. Her previous child had been adopted. During this pregnancy she had continued to drink heavily and take heroin. The child was born at 29 weeks’ gestation and was withdrawing from heroin.

Care proceedings were initiated and an interim care order was made. The child had remained in hospital since birth and he suffered from a number of health difficulties including chronic lung disease, multiple cardiac abnormalities, right duplex kidney, absent left kidney, fused ribs and heart failure which impacted on his ability to gain weight.

The local authority, supported by the NHS trust, applied for declarations inter alia that it was not in the child’s best interests to receive further life sustaining treatment. The mother had given instructions to her solicitor that she accepted the medical opinion.

The application was allowed. The evidence supporting the decision was overwhelming that it was not in the child’s best interests to continue with life sustaining treatment. The burdens for the child in receiving treatment were huge and he had been in significant and regular distress. It would be lawful for treating clinicians to give palliative care only.

Neutral Citation Number: [2014] EWHC 3182 (Fam)
Case No: FD14P00733

IN THE HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE

Royal Courts of Justice
Strand
London
WC2A 2LL

Date: 3rd October 2014

Before :

Mr Justice Moor

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Between :

Kirklees Council
Applicant

- and -

RE
First Respondent

-and-

SE (by his Guardian, Steven Anderson)
Second Respondent

-and-

Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust
Third Respondent

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Ms Lorraine Cavanagh for the Applicant
Ms Lisa Phillips for the First Respondent
Ms Martha Cover for the Second Respondent
Ms Katie Gollop for the Third Respondent

Hearing date: 19th August 2014

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -



JUDGMENT

Kirklees Council v RE, SE and Leeds Teaching Hospital NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 3182 (Fam) 
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