Family asks to end life of woman in coma

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 09 September 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:647

The first ever application has been made to the courts in Scotland seeking permission to end the life of a patient who is in an irreversible coma. Mrs Janet Johnston, aged 50, has been kept alive for the past three years at Law Hospital in Lanarkshire, but her doctors and family now agree that it would be more humane to allow her to die. She has been examined by several neurol ogists, who agree that she is in a persistent vegetative state.

Dr John Browning, the hospital's medical director, said: “The patient, in our view and in the view of independent experts, has no …

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