Intended for healthcare professionals


Doctors can withdraw feeding from patient in minimally conscious state, judge rules

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: (Published 20 November 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h6292
  1. Clare Dyer
  1. 1The BMJ

A judge has ruled for the first time in a UK court that a patient in a minimally conscious state should have artificial feeding withdrawn and be allowed to die.

Mr Justice Hayden concluded at the Court of Protection in London that it would be “disrespectful” to the 68 year old woman, “N,” in the end stages of multiple sclerosis “to preserve her further in a manner I think she would regard as grotesque.”

In 1993, in the case …

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