Family lose High Court battle to save life of Manchester Muslim in ‘vegetative state’

By Dean Wilkins

A Manchester family have lost their fight against the NHS to keep a Muslim man in a ‘vegetative state’ alive.

The wife and two sons of the 55-year-old man – known simply as ‘Mr L’ – have taken the NHS to the High Court as they argue his life should not end ‘until God takes it away’.

But the Pennine Acute Hospital NHS Trust claim that his ‘minimally conscious’ state would not improve and it would be wrong for doctors to provide ventilation or resuscitation treatment if he suffers another cardiac arrest.

Mr Justice Moylan, sitting at London’s Court of Protection, said: “It would result in death being characterised by a series of harmful interventions without any realistic prospect of such treatment producing any benefit.”

The family cannot appeal the decision but can still ask the Court of Appeal itself to reverse the result.

Mr L suffered a cardiac arrest in July and was left with severe brain damage – doctors said he had no ‘meaningful quality of life’ and that they were minimal signs of improving neurological function.

But his family showed the court video footage of Mr L in a ‘conscious state’ – they filmed him grimacing when he was being treated by staff.

His family insisted that his condition is improving as he shows an increase in awareness of his environment and is able to respond to family members – he also goes quiet when listening to Koran readings.

But Trust lawyers deemed that keeping him alive would not be in Mr L’s best interests.

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