Posted on January 5, 2020 at 4:00 AM
Just as more family-hospital conflicts over brain death are escalating to U.S. courts, more of these cases are also heading to British courts. I blogged about one case a few days ago. Here is another.
AB was a 14-year-old girl. In October 2019, AB’s parents found her hanging at home. Five days later, clinicians at Oxford University declared her dead. Just three days after that, the matter was before the Family Court and a judgment was delivered. This is efficient justice.
Mr. Justice Francis sided with the hospital, ruling (1) that the criteria for death had been established and (2) that it was lawful and in AB’s best interests for all care and treatment to be withdrawn.
The judgment was delivered in private. But a public transcript has been released. In his brief remarks, Mr. Justice Francis remarks: “[M]y decision on the recommendation and on the application of this hospital trust is not about killing; it is about removing a ventilator which is artificially sustaining a heart.”