Posted on April 15, 2018 at 9:01 AM
A significant and still-growing body of jurisprudence in France and the United Kingdom supports the right of clinicians to refuse administration of life-sustaining treatments that they determine to be non-beneficial, futile, or therapeutically obstinate.
Still, the parents of Alfie Evans in Liverpool and the parents of Vincent Lambert in Reims continue to litigate yet another round of court challenges both to these rules themselves and to the application of these rules to their children.
All these challenges will most probably be ultimately unsuccessful. Still, even if the parents lose in a legal sense, they will have succeeded in a practical sense. They will have succeeded in a buying substantial amounts of continued ICU time, because the courts stay/enjoin the hospitals’ plans pending judicial resolution.