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The suddenly-ill are rescued by modern technological interventions whenever possible; it is assumed to be in the patients’ best interests to survive and recover. But the interventions may result in very little, if any, quality of life and instead only prevent “natural dying”. This is a new problem, born of technological progress. Where does it leave us?

This summer, after considering the case of a man known only as “Mr Y”, the UK supreme court clarified that judges need not be consulted if a clinical team and a patient’s family agree – after careful discussion following best practice and legal guidelines – that it’s not in the best interests of a patient with a prolonged disorder of consciousness to continue artificial hydration and nutrition. It is permissible to withdraw this treatment and allow their dying to proceed naturally. …

…continue reading ‘How our lives end must no longer be a taboo subject’

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The Guardian

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