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July 29, 2005

Dying man loses battle in fight to be fed

From the London Telegraph...

A man who is terminally ill and fears that doctors may allow him to die of thirst said he was "disappointed" yesterday after the Court of Appeal overturned an earlier judgment in his favour.

Last July, the High Court granted a challenge by Leslie Burke, 45, and declared that key sections of General Medical Council guidance on withdrawal of life-prolonging treatment were unlawful.

But yesterday three appeal judges allowed an appeal by the GMC against the ruling, setting aside six declarations by the trial judge. Permission to appeal was refused.

Mr Burke suffers from cerebellar ataxia, a progressively degenerative brain condition that follows a similar course to multiple sclerosis.

Burke is being reassured by the “Master of the Rolls” Lord Phillips as well as Prof Sir Graeme Catto, the GMC president that current policy is that patients unable to feed themselves are fed. Along with Mr. Burke I have to wonder if that were the case, why in the world are they fighting his efforts to ensure it by law?

Posted by Danny Carlton at July 29, 2005 06:05 AM

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