Intended for healthcare professionals


Judge over-rules family's wish that patient should be allowed to die

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 23 November 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:1089
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. 1BMJ

    England's senior family judge has ruled that a woman in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) should be given a sleeping pill that has been reported to temporarily wake up PVS patients, despite the wishes of her family that she should be allowed to die with dignity.

    Mark Potter, president of the High Court's family division, backed the official solicitor, acting for the 53 year old woman, who argued that the drug zolpidem should be given a brief trial before a final decision was made to discontinue artificial nutrition and hydration.

    The woman, who cannot be named, is in a PVS …

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