Judge rules Lincolnshire doctors can stop tube feeding woman

Doctors in Lincolnshire have been given permission by a judge to stop feeding a woman through tubes.

The woman in her early 50s is said to be in a "minimally conscious state" and had fought attempts to be tube fed.

The case at the Court of Protection in London heard the woman suffered "significant" brain damage after an artery burst last year.

Mrs Justice Pauffley said it was not in the woman's best interests to make further attempts at feeding.

'Greatest dignity'

The judge said she had been asked to make a ruling by the United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

She said: "The critical decision is whether it is in [the patient's] best interests to continue invasive, risk laden, medical care as would be involved in a further attempt at artificial feeding.

"I am utterly convinced that it would not."

She said clinicians should provide appropriate "palliative care and related treatment" to ensure that the woman suffered "the least distress and retains the greatest dignity until such time as her life comes to an end".

The woman was not identified during the judgement.

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