In the Court of Protection, cases involving decisions about people who are mentally incapacitated in some way, it was ruled that a 72 year old man who had had severe brain damage from a stroke should be allowed to die. The man and his family, were Muslim and as part of their religion, suffering would bring a person closer to God. The family wished for the man to be resuscitated so that he could endure this suffering.
This precedent has wider implications in other cases where religion and medical practices clash.
After the ruling, the family’s solicitor, Zak Golombeck from law firm Pannone, said it would have “major repercussions for people of faith throughout the country”.
“The judge accepted the deeply held religious beliefs of VT and his family, but held that in spite of these beliefs the opinions of the clinicians regarding VT’s best interests should take precedence.
“It is for this reason we are carefully considering the judgment and will be advising our client as to any potential appeal.”