Steps Towards Generalized Euthanasia in the United Kingdom

Source: FSSPX News

The members of the British Supreme Court

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom henceforth allows terminating nutrition for a patient in a vegetative condition if the family and medical staff so desire, without any obligation to go to court.

On July 30, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled on the case of a man with extensive brain damage who should have been “authorized to die” without the need for a court decision as has been the case up until now.

The man in question, a 52 years old whose identity was kept unknown, was left with severe brain damage after a heart attack. The patient never recovered consciousness and needed artificial nutrition and hydration. He died before the Supreme Court’s ruling, but the judges decided to pursue the case in the kingdom’s highest court.

In the July 30 ruling, the Supreme Court Magistrate, Lady Black of Derwent, declared: “If there is an agreement on what is in the patient’s best interest” between the family and the medical staff, the patient “can be treated according to the Mental Capacity Act” that allows terminating the patient’s artificial nutrition and hydration, but “without going to court.”

The Catholic Church has always been opposed to this type of decision. In 2007, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recalled that “a patient in a ‘permanent vegetative state’ is a person with fundamental human dignity and must, therefore, receive ordinary and proportionate care which includes, in principle, the administration of water and food even by artificial means.” The water and food are obligatory so long as they fulfill their proper finality which is to hydrate and nourish the patient in order to keep him alive: “In this way suffering and death by starvation and dehydration are prevented.”