Burke to take case to House of Lords

The disabled patient who lost his battle to prove guidelines for
doctors on withdrawing treatment for the incapacitated are unlawful
plans to take his case to the House of Lords, writes
Helen McCormack

Leslie Burke, who suffers from a degenerative brain condition,
last year won a landmark ruling supporting his right to receive
artificial nutrition and hydration, after proving General Medical
Council guidelines gave doctors too much power to decide whether
the withdrawal of treatment was in patients’ best

But doctors argued the ruling put them in an impossible position
and last week the High Court ruled in the GMC’s favour,
finding that Burke was already protected by existing laws.

The Disability Rights Commission said the new ruling had created
a “Catch -22 situation” for disabled patients by
upholding their right to request to continue living, while failing
to clarify the rights of patients once they lost that

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