Wednesday, 28 September 2011

A Little Good News...

A brain-damaged woman, who can only be referred to as "M," was at the centre of a High Court battle to have her food and fluids withdrawn. She has been in a minimally conscious state (having first been diagnosed as in a persistent vegetative state) for over 8 years, and her family wanted to end her life.

That sounds rather harsh, but it is really just stating the truth. The family wanted to have her food and fluids withdrawn (though it's prettied up by calling it "stopping life-supporting treatment.") Effectively, that means that they would subject her to a horrifically painful death by starvation and dehydration - and, as in the case of Tony Bland, she would have needed painkillers to ease the suffering this entails.

Yogi Amin, who represented the family at the High Court, stated that the ruling allowed the High Court to decide whether a minimally conscious person should be allowed to die naturally, with dignity. He didn't mention that death by starvation and dehydration isn't actually what one would consider a dignified death.

Unusually, the medical authorities fought against the wishes of the family. They said that M was clinically stable, and the health authority pointed out that her life was not without positive elements. I must confess that I never thought a health authority would range itself on the side of the angels. Usually they're all for cost-cutting measures.

Fortunately for M, and possibly for others in a minimally conscious state, the judge ruled against the family.


margaret said...

I read about this online earlier (Yahoo news, I think) and I was appalled to see that every commenter opposed the judge calling him heartless and repeating the line about allowing her to die with 'dignity'. Where on earth did people get the idea that starvation and dehydration is a dignified death? It's truly frightening.

Zephyrinus said...

Excellent Post, Mac. Thank you for highlighting yet another gross example of atheistic Britain in progress.

How totally "ironic" that the High Court Judge, who found in favour of not killing the lady in question, stated that: "The factor which does carry substantial weight, in my judgement, is the preservation of life. Although not an absolute rule, the Law regards the preservation of life as a fundamental principle."

Very interesting.

". . . the Law regards the preservation of life as a fundamental principle."

Unless you are an unborn child.

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