News

Legal opinion throws status of living wills of patients in vegetative state into doubt

BMJ 2016; 355 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i5875 (Published 01 November 2016) Cite this as: BMJ 2016;355:i5875
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. The BMJ

A legal provision that obliges doctors to honour a patient’s “living will” refusing artificial nutrition and hydration seems to conflict with a Court of Protection practice direction stating that all cases concerning the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment from patients in a vegetative or minimally conscious state should go to court, a senior judge has pointed out.1

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides that a valid advance decision to refuse a specified treatment, made when the patient had capacity to make it, should be complied with by doctors …

View Full Text

Sign in

Log in through your institution

Free trial

Register for a free trial to thebmj.com to receive unlimited access to all content on thebmj.com for 14 days.
Sign up for a free trial

Subscribe