May 30, 2024

British patient wins right-to-life ruling

Leslie Burke

And in the UK, a patient who feared that doctors would withdraw food and drink against his wishes has won a landmark case. The High Court ruled that guidelines set by the General Medical Council were skewed towards the right of patients to refuse treatment rather than their right to require treatment. Leslie Burke, 44, who has a degenerative brain condition, says that “the onus should be on helping people to live, not despatching people too early. The patient should have the last say.” The General Medical Council said that it welcomed clarification of the law in several areas, but that it would appeal the ruling.