UK court says doctors can let baby die

The British High Court ruled Friday that doctors can withold certain treatment from a terminally-ill baby if his condition deteriorates. Luke Winston-Jones, nine months old, suffers from a rare condition called Edwards Syndrome. Most babies with the condition do not survive beyond one year. The High Court ruled that doctors should not use mechanical ventilation to resuscitate Luke. The court said that Luke could still receive cardiac massage, if necessary. Luke's mother, Ruth Winston-Jones, insisted that Luke should not be allowed to die through witholding of an available treatement. After Luke's mother and doctors failed to come to an agreement on treatment, the hospitals in charge of Luke's care sought a declaration from the courts as to what treatments to apply, and which to withold. BBC News has more. Earlier this month, the High Court ruled that baby Charlotte Wyatt was in such poor condition that she should not be resuscitated if she stopped breathing. The recent decisions have sparked a serious debate about medical ethics in the UK concering the right to die. In January, the Assisted Dying for the Terminally Ill Bill was introduced in Parliament. The bill would make it legal for physicians to assist certain terminally-ill patients in dying. A recent survey suggests that 45% of doctors believe that colleagues are currently, and illegally, helping these patients die anyway.

 

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