Doctors can stop providing life-support treatment to severely disabled boy – judge
Doctors can lawfully stop providing life-support treatment to a severely disabled 14-year-old boy, a High Court judge has ruled.
Mr Justice Cobb concluded that a move to palliative care is in the teenager’s best interests.
The judge, who is based in London, gave detail of his decision in a written ruling published on Wednesday following a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court.
He said the boy has “profound and multiple medical needs and disabilities”, which have “affected him all his life”, and is in a “critical medical state”.
The judge said he has approved a move from a hospital to a hospice.
Hospital bosses had asked him to rule that life-support treatment could lawfully be ended.
Specialists said a move to palliative care was in the boy’s best interests.
Mr Justice Cobb said the boy is in a foster home, having been taken out of his parents’ care some years ago.
His birth family said they have “trust in the doctors” and his foster parents agree with the “hospital’s care plan”.
Mr Justice Cobb said the boy cannot be identified in media reports of the case.
He said bosses at Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust have responsibility for his medical care.
The boy is in the care of council bosses at the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
Mr Justice Cobb said the trust and council had jointly asked him to rule that life-support treatment could end.
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