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Friday, July 29, 2005

Les Burke loses legal battle over right to be fed?

This article is very confusing. Altho the title said he lost, there seems to be a contradiction.

It appears that Drs. are still given the last word on ANH ( artificial food and water).

Lord Phillips, the Master of the Rolls, issued a press release saying that "the fact that the appeal has been allowed does not mean that Mr Burke has lost".

Mr Burke will need artificial nutrition and hydration - known as ANH - when he loses the ability to swallow.

Lord Phillips explained that Mr Burke appeared to fear that ANH would be withdrawn before the final stages of his disease, when it would not be capable of prolonging his life. "If this is Mr Burke's fear, there is no reason for him to have it," Lord Phillips said.

"There are no grounds for thinking that those caring for such a patient would be entitled to or would take a decision to withdraw ANH in such circumstances."

The judges added that, "where a competent patient indicates his or her wish to be kept alive by the provision of ANH, any doctor who deliberately brings that patient's life to an end by discontinuing the supply of ANH will not merely be in breach of duty but guilty of murder".

But they stressed that "in the last stage of life" ANH - far from prolonging life - may even hasten death.

"It is only in this situation that, assuming the patient remains competent, a patient's expressed wish that ANH be continued might conflict with the doctor's view that this is not clinically indicated."

What it means...If Drs. Feel ANH is detremental they can remove it.
"A patient cannot demand that a doctor administer a treatment which the doctor considers is adverse to the patient's clinical needs.

I Never thought of Food and Water as medical Treatment! This herein lies the problem. It is not. It is part of life, like using the bathroom, like breathing, thinking.

READ IT HERE And Les Burkes Site Here