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October 31, 2004

Baby must be allowed to die - judge

In the second right-to-live case in as many months in the UK, the Family Division of a British High Court has again ruled in favour of doctors who had asked the court to allow them to withhold life-saving treatment for a terminally ill baby. The Independent quotes the judge as ruling Luke Winston-Jones, aged nine months, who has a rare genetic disorder, should not be placed on a ventilator if he stops breathing. His mother, Ruth, had refused to give her consent to withdrawal of treatment, claiming her son was a ‘fighter’ and accusing doctors of ‘playing God’ by deciding to let him die. Last month, another judge ruled that one-year-old Charlotte Wyatt, who was born premature and has severe mental and physical handicaps, should not be resuscitated if she stops breathing. Experts say more such cases may have to be decided by the courts because of advances in the treatment of sick babies.


Provided courtesy of Legalbrief Today. To participate in a free month’s subscription to Legalbrief’s daily legal news service click here.


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