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Defending life
from conception to natural death


Paralysed man 'wins' court battle to end life by having respirator removed

3 May 2012

An English court has approved the withdrawal of a respirator sustaining the life of a British motor neurone disease patient.

The Court of Protection held that the man had made a valid advance directive under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Anthony Ozimic of SPUC told "It is not unethical for a non-dying patient to refuse futile or disproportionately burdensome medical treatment, as long as their intention is not suicidal.

"In this case, however, what is being withdrawn is standard care appropriate for the condition, with the intention of ending life based on the person's quality of life. We warned for years that the Mental Capacity Act is based on the inhuman notion that disabled people's lives may not be worth living. It is sanitised barbarism." [, 2 May]

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