Family Welcome Move To Save Disabled Man’s Life

Lawyer Say’s Appointed Experts Will Carry Out Assessment Of Patient’s Best Interests

21.03.2013

By Dave Grimshaw

The family of a disabled man currently subject to a ‘do not resuscitate’ instruction have today welcomed a High Court ruling which will see him assessed by independent medical experts in a bid to establish whether the ‘hospital order’ is in his best interests. 

The 22-year-old, known as ‘M’, suffers from a neurological condition which limits his ability to communicate and leaves him needing 24-hour care and support. He was admitted five months ago after becoming unwell with vomiting.

In February the Trust responsible for the Hospital managing his care – known only as ‘The NHS Trust’ – ordered that staff should not attempt to resuscitate him should his condition deteriorate after he continued to lose weight and developed kidney stones.

But despite the severity of his disability M’s family, who have always cared for him at their home in the North of England, say he enjoys life outside of the hospital environment and remain optimistic that his condition will improve.

Today their lawyer, Mathieu Culverhouse from Irwin Mitchell’s public law team, said they had welcomed the decision handed down by the Judge which will see M formally assessed by a number of medical experts who will give their views as to whether the order should be overturned.

He went on to explain that the experts will provide evidence on whether M would benefit from being resuscitated should his condition deteriorate further, or whether it would cause additional neurological damage, as well as pain and suffering.

The independent medical experts will be approved by the Judge, who sits in the Court of Protection in London.

Mathieu said: “This is a very welcome step in a complex case. Whilst the family are very distressed by the DNAR in place on M they want to know that whatever happens is entirely in his best interests.

“Independent medical experts will now be appointed, and approved by the Judge, to determine whether M would benefit from being resuscitated should his condition deteriorate further, or whether it would cause additional neurological damage, as well as pain and suffering.”

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