|Advance Decisions

Court Ruling no longer needed before life-support is withdrawn from patients with severe illnesses

In a landmark ruling a judge has ruled that in future, in decisions concerning the withdrawal of life-support, including artificial feeding and hydration, a judge's consent is no longer required in cases where medical opinion and relative's wishes agree that the cessation is in the patient's best interests.  The story is reported widely, including by [...]

2017-09-21T19:11:11+00:00 September 21st, 2017|Advance Decisions, Legal Action, Minimally Conscious States|

Preferences for care at end of life when mental capacity is diminishing

An interesting scientific study of attitudes in UK and USA towards end of life care and assisted dying in the face of worsening dementia, was published in April 2017 in the peer reviewed on-line journal Plos One: Clarke G, Fistein E, Holland A, Barclay M, Theimann P, Barclay S (2017) Preferences for care towards the [...]

2017-09-13T14:52:25+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Advance Decisions, Care Homes, Dementia, Opinion Poll|

Avoiding Prolonged Dementia

Dementia is now the leading cause of death in England and Wales. How can we ensure we don't suffer from it for longer than we wish? Medically Assisted Suicide is one option chosen by a few. In the UK those choosing this option need to arrange appropriate help in Switzerland, as it is not legal [...]

2017-04-23T09:35:23+00:00 April 23rd, 2017|Advance Decisions, Dementia, USA|

Dementia sufferers ending their lives in Switzerland

Today the Mail on Sunday published an article about the father of an MDMD supporter who ended his life at Dignitas. Penny's father Ron Hall suffered from early stage dementia. The psychiatric assessment to ensure he still had mental capacity to make the life ending decision was done by MDMD's associate coordinator, Colin Brewer. Interestingly, [...]

Over 100 Minimally conscious patients

A BBC investigation attempted to find out how many minimally conscious patients were being kept alive in the UK. All the UK health authorities were asked,  but only about one quarter were able to provide data. Those that did revealed 105 cases. Given the poor response, it seems reasonable to estimate that the total number [...]

Why everyone should write an Advance Decision – the case of Paul Briggs

The case of Paul Briggs, reported in the Daily Telegraph and other papers, highlights why everyone should write an Advance Decision (AD) to refuse medical treatment in case they are ever in a situation where they would wish to refuse treatment, but are unable to speak for themselves. Mr Briggs situation shows how this could [...]