Thursday 28 July 2011

A new euthanasia ruling is worrying as the M case continues

A new ruling by a English high court judge allowing euthanasia by omission is worrying, coming at the same time as another high court judge considers the M case.

SPUC's Patients First Network has commented on Mr Justice Charles' ruling, reported this morning, that food, fluids and heart medication can be withdrawn from a 54-year-old mother-of-four deemed to be in a so-called "permanent vegetative state". This court-case is a separate court-case from the M case, currently before Mr Justice Baker, in which a 51-year-old woman, deemed to be in a so-called "minimally-conscious state", is threatened with the same denial of care. (Read the interview with Nikki Kenward of Distant Voices about the M case.)

Anthony Ozimic, speaking on behalf of Patients First Network, told the media this morning:
"Although the court-cases are separate, the M case is being heard against the backdrop of such recent high court rulings which effectively sentenced disabled people to death. The provision of water, food and reasonable medical treatment to patients who are not dying is a human right underpinning the fundamental right to life, yet the English high court has discriminated against disabled people by denying them that right. Whether and to what extent a person has brain-damage is irrelevant to their membership of the human family."
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