Could, and should, greater effort have been expended attempting to ascertain whether Archie Battersbee was alive and conscious, and his wishes and feelings about the proposed ending of his life-support treatment?
Archie Battersbee was in hospital when he died, brain-injured so badly that if he was conscious, he was unable to exhibit consciousness by (say) responding verbally to ordinary enquiries addressed to him, questions such as, “Are you comfortable?”, or by moving fingers or facial muscles to answer such questions. He may even have been brain-stem dead by the time his treatment was withdrawn. I hope he was already brain dead for his sake, given what has been done to him. Perhaps a post-mortem will shed more light on that unknown.
Reportedly, Archie was in a coma, apparently unable to breathe without artificial support. The learned barrister and blogger Matthew Scott has posted today saying that Mr Justice Hayden was right to bring Archie’s futile treatment to an end. On the limited evidence before the public and Hayden J, I am not minded to dispute the rightness of the learned judge’s ruling, or of Matthew’s applauding of it. However, I suspect that, by all accounts, the hospital may have fallen short of the need to make adequate accommodations for a patient who may have suffered from a communication disability rather than a loss of all consciousness, as in the case of the late Scott Routley. Continue reading
How easy it can sometimes be nowadays, to listen to a locked-in patient’s silent answers to questions! (If the doctor can be bothered, that is, because he cares what his patient thinks and is feeling.)
Dying for a drink isn’t a pleasant way for anyone to be forced to spend Christmas, but it is the fate chosen by his British NHS doctors, his wife, and the British judiciary, for one unfortunate Polish fellow, despite the objections of the Polish government and his Polish mother and two sisters. This patient has been prescribed death by thirst. The slow taking of his life began yesterday, a Christmas present for him which he might well have said was unwanted, if only he had been asked.
To describe dying of thirst – not a nice way to go by all accounts (even when it’s not Christmas) – as “euthanasia”, is something of a euphemism. But it appears to be the best treatment the British NHS can offer this unfortunate patient, or so they told the courts. I am suspicious that the NHS didn’t try all that hard to discover the patient’s own preferences as to how and when he’d like to die. As you will learn, if you continue reading, there was quite a lot the NHS could have tried, if they’d wanted to find out what the patient thought and how he felt about his situation.
Yesterday, I received the transcript of the judgment of Mr Justice Garnham on the day of the funeral of Alfie Evans, 14th May 2018. This concerns my unsuccessful application for an urgent injunction prohibiting the cremation of the remains of Alfie Evans, without a prior post-mortem examination. (At the time, I did not know whether a burial or a cremation was planned.) Continue reading
I was delighted when the coroner suggested that parents Tom Evans and Kate James ought to be allowed to join in, as interested parties, with my legal challenge against his decision that Alfie’s death didn’t need investigating. The Christian Legal Centre tried to prevent me from serving the court papers on Tom and Kate, so I went back to court last Wednesday to apply for the court’s help in getting to Tom and Kate the good news of my legal challenge, enabling me to recover from the Christian Legal Centre’s treachery in keeping from their clients the news of my involvement, from May onwards.
Behind closed doors today, Mr Justice Butcher ruled, without the 30 minute public hearing for which I had applied, that Tom and Kate are not entitled to know about my legal challenge, and don’t necessarily even have any interest in whether the coroner’s decision was right or wrong. The judge did put the ball back in the Christian Legal Centre’s court though, by ordering me to ask them to send Tom and Kate copies of his order today. Continue reading
This morning I received the transcript of the hearing that took place on 14th May. The hearing occurred because neither the coroner nor the Christian Legal Centre had told me whether Alfie’s parents were intending to cremate his body after the funeral that day, or to bury Alfie.
I am publishing both the transcript and also (for the first time) the application that I made that day, including supporting evidence. Continue reading
The late Scott Douglas Routley had a nasty road traffic accident around the turn of the century, which damaged his brain. By 2012, Scott had been comatose, persistently vegetative, “locked-in” – or however you want to put it – for 12 years. He couldn’t move, or talk. Continue reading
This post is sometimes pinned to the top of the blog.
The grievance of guest blogger Gagged Dad, the author of
Two year-old’s contact stopped with homophobic dad
is mentioned in all of these posts.
After a court case in the UK that lasted more than four years, Gagged Dad’s grievance became expressed as an application to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). The important pages of that ECtHR application, outlining the facts and putting the legal arguments, are here.
The funeral of Alfie Evans is reported to be planned for tomorrow. Having received no reply by 6 o’clock today to my email (copied below) to the lawyers of Alfie’s parents, The Christian Legal Centre, I have concluded that it will probably be necessary for me to make an urgent application to the court tomorrow, in a bid to prevent the cremation of Alfie’s body without a prior post-mortem examination and toxicology report to determine the cause of Alfie’s death reliably. Continue reading
It looks as though I am not going to be able to escape from my duty, which seems now to be to bring another court case before long, this time against the Coroner of Liverpool.
Ellinor Grimmark got sacked, for her conscientious objection to participating in the abortion industry in Sweden. I have signed a petition about this, not so much because I expect the people who sacked Ellinor to take any notice of any outrage of mine, as that I wanted thus to congratulate this noble martyr to conscience on making the sacrificial stand she did. Far too few are they who nowadays thus place morals above career.