Posted on June 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
On June 3, 2020, the UK Court of Protection authorized the withdrawal of artificial nutrition and hydration from MSP, a 34-year-old man with severe gastrointestinal problems.
Remarkable is the extent to which the court relied upon MSP’s advance directive despite its noncompliance with requisite formalities. “Whilst this document is not binding as an Advance Decision, it nonetheless represents a clear and eloquent expression of MSP’s wishes and feelings.” The court was impressed with the AD’s detail, including music playlists for various situations (like The Smiths for the ICU).
This case serves as a reminder that while it is safer to comply with statutory requirements, non-statutory directives are often legally valid in the United States. Usually this is because many prerequisites and constraints in advance directives statutes are unconstitutional.