Judgment Released Following Withdrawal of Child’s Life Support
Lorraine Cavanagh represented the Hospital Trust in an urgent application to the High Court to cease life support in respect of a small boy who had been pronounced dead, following a choking accident. Mr Justice Hayden heard the case in Manchester Civil Justice Centre, out of hours. The Judgment was handed down late evening; the court ruled that the ventilation should cease. Mr Justice Hayden revisited the definition of death in English law, as science has moved on in the 25 years since the Airedale NHS Trust v Bland Case, though Hayden J concluded that the definition remains unchanged. The Court also gave guidance to Coroners and NHS Trusts as to the coronial jurisdiction over a ventilated body. The matter has attracted some publicity in the national press.