LONDON (AP) — Britain’s highest court has ruled that the family of a patient in a persistently vegetative state does not need to seek a court’s permission to have life support removed.
The landmark ruling Monday comes in a case involving a man who suffered a brain injury. The 52-year-old man, identified as Mr. Y, has been in a coma since suffering a heart attack. Experts agreed that even if he had regained consciousness, he’d have profound disabilities.
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The case landed in the courts because Mr. Y had not drawn up directives to refuse treatment, but his family was certain he would not want to be kept alive.
Mr. Y died before the case was heard by the Supreme Court, but the case proceeded because of the importance of the issues raised.