The Court of Protection has authorised the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment for Mrs N who is medically considered to be in a ‘minimally conscious state’. In Re N  EWCOP 76, Mrs N’s daughter brought the application for the Court’s determination as to her mother’s best interests (believing the treatment contravened those interests) and was supported by the Official Solicitor on behalf of Mrs N.
The case should not be seen as a worrying precedent however as the Court of Protection will review each application of this nature on the specific facts and circumstances to ensure the decision reached is in the best interests of the person receiving the treatment. Cases are likely to come before the Court where the parties’ views on the withdrawal or otherwise of such treatment will be different, but the best interests of the person affected will remain the crucial factor in any decision.
"This landmark decision is the first time that the Court of Protection has agreed to withdraw treatment from someone receiving life sustaining treatment while considered by medical experts to be in a 'minimally conscious state'.