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Mr L’s Right To Life Court Battle Resumes

October 5, 2012

An update I missed on Monday:

A Muslim man’s right-to-live court battle has resumed after new video evidence showed he was no longer in a persistent vegetative state.

The family of “Mr L” from Greater Manchester is disputing his doctors’ decision not to resuscitate him if his condition worsens.

The case was adjourned in August while doctors reassessed Mr L’s condition.

They told the High Court there had been a slight improvement but it would still be unfair to prolong his life.

Mr L, 55, suffered severe brain damage in July following a third cardiac arrest.

Filmed ‘grimacing’

His family disputed the Penine Acute Hospitals Trust policy to withhold treatment if his condition deteriorates because their faith states that “life is sacred” and must be prolonged until “God takes it away”.

The family had argued Mr L was not in a vegetative state and said he is showing increased awareness of his environment, responding to family and going quiet when listening to the Koran.

Doctors viewing the new footage, which showed Mr L “grimacing” when his eyes were cleaned, have now concluded he has improved slightly and is now in a “minimally conscious state”.

But they told Mr Justice Moylan the quality of life he could expect if he survived the pain and distress of a resuscitation and other forms of intensive care meant it would still not be in his best interests.

Dr V told the court: “All we would be doing is prolonging the dying process and causing pain and distress for the patient and almost certainly increasing his brain damage.”

The case continues.

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