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Posted on January 18, 2021 at 4:00 AM

In the early 2000s, Terri Schiavo's husband and parents battled across many tribunals over her treatment plan. It has been described as "easily the longest, most bitter — and most heavily litigated — right-to-die dispute in U.S. history." A similar case has been playing out in London. 

RS suffered a heart attack in early November 2020. On December 15, RS' wife obtained a court order that continuing clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration was not in his best interest. But RS' birth family opposed this plan. They appealed but lost. They then began a new application in the Court of Protection, several petitions to the European Court of Human Rights, and yet another appeal.

Last week, Lord Justice Peter Jackson criticized the birth family's "continued unfounded challenges." While the courts will review an earlier best interests determination, such a reconsideration must be undertaken “on the grounds of compelling new evidence” but not on “partially informed or ill-informed opinion.”

"These are not rolling proceedings which a dissatisfied party can continue at will. . . . [T]here is . . . a real risk of harm to the protected party and of unfairness to other parties if litigation is conducted in such an unprincipled way."

Lord Justice Peter Jackson



Posted on

In the early 2000s, Terri Schiavo's husband and parents battled across many tribunals over her treatment plan. It has been described as "easily the longest, most bitter — and most heavily litigated — right-to-die dispute in U.S. history." A similar case has been playing out in London. 

RS suffered a heart attack in early November 2020. On December 15, RS' wife obtained a court order that continuing clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration was not in his best interest. But RS' birth family opposed this plan. They appealed but lost. They then began a new application in the Court of Protection, several petitions to the European Court of Human Rights, and yet another appeal.

Last week, Lord Justice Peter Jackson criticized the birth family's "continued unfounded challenges." While the courts will review an earlier best interests determination, such a reconsideration must be undertaken “on the grounds of compelling new evidence” but not on “partially informed or ill-informed opinion.”

"These are not rolling proceedings which a dissatisfied party can continue at will. . . . [T]here is . . . a real risk of harm to the protected party and of unfairness to other parties if litigation is conducted in such an unprincipled way."

Lord Justice Peter Jackson


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