GMC faces challenge over withdrawing treatmentBMJ 2004; 328 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.328.7431.68-a (Published 09 January 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:68
- Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
The General Medical Council faces an unprecedented challenge in the High Court in London next month to its guidelines for doctors on withholding and withdrawing life prolonging treatment.
A man with cerebellar ataxia claims that the guidance, published in 2002 after extensive consultation, is unlawful and effectively allows doctors to perform euthanasia.
Leslie Burke, 43, from Lancaster, is capable of making his own decisions, but he fears that doctors may decide at a point when he is no longer competent that his life is not worth living and discontinue artificial feeding.
The GMC's guidelines cover the circumstances in which doctors may withhold or withdraw artificial nutrition and …