Minimally conscious state, withdrawal of medical treatment
Published 2 July 2015
The court has emphasised once again the strong presumption in favour of preserving life and the crucial importance of obtaining robust evidence to confirm the diagnosis before court proceedings are issued seeking withdrawal of life-sustaining medical treatment.
The patient was in a Minimally Conscious State and there was disagreement between the family and clinical team about whether treatment should continue, with the family wishing life to be preserved. Not enough had been done to establish the diagnosis before proceedings were issued. Once the diagnosis was confirmed, the approach to best interests was clear.