British court rules that mother in coma ‘should be allowed to die’
A MOTHER with Covid-19 should be allowed to die against her family’s wishes, a judge has ruled.
The woman, who is in her early 30s, has been in an induced coma since giving birth to a baby boy last month.
The University of Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust said her chances of survival were slim and ending life-support treatment was “in her best interests”.
Her family, who are Muslim, asked for more time for treatment and said they believed “only God could end life”.
The woman’s case was heard on Tuesday in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves are analysed.
It heard the woman was rushed to hospital with coronavirus at 32 weeks’ pregnant.Doctors delivered her son by Caesarean section shortly after she was admitted.
A specialist told the judge her pancreas had stopped functioning, one lung had “died” and staff had tried everything.
“Her chances of making any meaningful recovery with the Covid are slim,” he said.”The feeling of the whole team is that she has reached the point where it is, in essence, zero.
“The woman, who also has a three-year-old daughter, has Addison’s disease – a rare disorder of glands that produce essential hormones.
The woman’s sister told the court: “We believe in miracles.”When God has written our death, that is when we will die.
“To unplug the machine, this is for us like asking someone to kill us.”Justice Hayden ruled the woman could not be named and that doctors can lawfully stop providing life-support treatment.
He said evidence showed doctors were no longer preserving her life, but “prolonging her death”.
He added that the woman’s “life and hopes” had been extinguished by “this insidious virus” and she should be allowed to die with dignity.
“This family is seeking a miracle,” said Justice Hayden.”This is a very young mother in circumstances of almost-unspeakable sadness.
“The objective is not to shorten her life, [but] to avoid the prolongation of her death.”He said doctors had prepared a palliative care plan and the woman’s family would be able to visit her.