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Patient's Wishes Determine Care

The much publicised case in which the Court of Protection ruled that clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) could lawfully be withdrawn from a patient with multiple sclerosis who was in a 'minimally conscious state' has been hailed as a landmark ruling.

In reaching its decision that withdrawal of CANH would be in the patient's best interests, the Court relied heavily on evidence that she would not want the treatment were she able to speak for herself.

The clear message is that if you have strong views on what would or would not be acceptable as treatment for yourself in similar circumstances, you should ensure you communicate these clearly to your family.

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The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.