A 50-year-old mother who refused hospital treatment, on the grounds that she has lost her “sparkle”, has had her decision supported by the Court of Protection.
The woman had made a failed attempt to take her own life through a drug overdose, but her kidneys were damaged as a result.
Mr Justice MacDonald heard that nobody in the family wanted the woman – who cannot be named for legal reasons – to die, but that she had decided to refuse dialysis and would not be persuaded to change her mind.
Dismissing an argument put forward by medical specialists at King’s College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, that the woman had a “dysfunction of the mind”, the Judge found in her favour.
He said that she had the mental ability to make a decision regarding her own life, and that any attempts to restrain and sedate her by the NHS Trust, in order to give treatment, would not be permitted.
The full reasoning behind the Judge’s decision are expected to be released in the future, though reports from psychiatrists and other medical practitioners were included in the decision-making process.
The woman has a number of daughters and grandchildren and, commenting in court, one of them stated that she disagreed with her mother’s decision, but also respected her wishes.
She said: “We think it is a horrible decision. We don’t like the decision at all. But I cannot get away from the fact that she understands it.”
None of the family members in the case have been named following a previous Judge’s ruling relating to the case.