The Supreme Court Ruling on Nutrition and Hydration: a nursing view

This letter was published in the Daily Telegraph on 3rd August  2018. It was written by  Theresa Lynch  from  Pro-life nurses

Sir – The Supreme Court has ruled that, when families and doctors are in agreement, medical staff will be able to remove feeding tubes from  patients in a permanent vegetative state without applying to the Court of Protection (report, July 30).

Our longstanding nursing concerns about the dangers of the Mental Capacity Act (2005), the Bland decision and the discredited LCP practices, have been justified and increased by this ruling.

Another young man, badly injured like Tony Bland in the Hillsborough disaster, and deemed to be persistently unresponsive, heard his mother
insist to hospital staff that they continue his treatment and was so grateful to hear this. He eventually recovered.

Food and fluid are basic human rights. The Mental Capacity Act, incredibly, defines ‘treatment’ as:  ‘any ‘diagnostic or other procedure’. This opens the door to inhumane practice where the basic needs of a vulnerable person are considered dispensible and denied them when they have no chance to express hunger and thirst.  

Defeatist healthcare, gives way to demands  for the death  of the vulnerable. Their deaths  can be very convenient in straitened economic
times with fallible human beings making decisions.  

The following principle should be morally binding:  to kill or make an attempt on the life of  an innocent person, is an evil action.

The slippery slope takes over when ideology trumps compassion, positive medicine and true patient advocacy .

Teresa Lynch
Pro-Life Nurses
London W6.