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Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment

Personal Injury Compensation

Withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment

In the matter of AH [2021] EWCA Civ 1768

The Court of Appeal has overturned a decision of the Court of Protection in which it had been held that a hospital was permitted to withdraw life-sustaining treatment for AH, a woman aged 56 years who had been treated on a ventilator for many months. The medical evidence was agreed, as it was clear that AH had suffered several profound neurological and myopathic conditions which were permanent, including cerebral encephalopathy, brainstem encephalopathy, motor neuronopathy, and necrotising myopathy, which in non-medical language meant that she had sustained extensive damage to her nerves, muscles and brain. As set out in the judgment, the muscle loss was “massive, and with no prospect of recovery of the muscle”.

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