UK Doctors get the “final” word

This is a very troubling ruling

The General Medical Council has won its appeal against a ruling which gave a seriously-ill patient the right to stop doctors withdrawing food and drink.

Leslie Burke, 45, who has a degenerative brain condition, fears artificial nutrition could be stopped against his wishes when he cannot talk.

Mr Burke, from Lancaster, had won a landmark ruling, supporting his right to artificial nutrition and hydration.

But the GMC appealed, saying doctors could be put in an impossible position.

Following the Appeal Court verdict, the GMC said it hoped Mr Burke was now reassured he would receive the treatment he needs, including artificial nutrition and hydration and that nothing in its guidance prevented this.

I don’t see how Mr. Burke could possibly be reassured, though, given this:

But during the appeal hearing, Philip Havers, QC, representing the GMC, said the original ruling had fundamentally altered the nature of doctor/patient relationships and was not in the best interests of the patient.

He said doctors would have to provide treatment which they knew would be of no benefit or could even be harmful.

GMC president Professor Sir Graeme Catto said “Patients should be reassured by this judgement which emphasises the partnership needed to resolve end of life issues.”

“Our guidance makes it clear that patients should never be discriminated against on the grounds of disability.”

Sounds like words that really don’t mean anything, to me. The bottom line is, when Mr. Burke loses control of his body – but not his mind – a doctor can decide, “well, he can’t walk, can’t talk, what good is he, here? I wouldn’t want to live like him; let’s stop nourishment and hydration and take him off the public dole…”

C’mon now, you’re not really going to try to convince me that that won’t happen?

Junkyardblog think’s this is a bad ruling too.

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About Elizabeth Scalia