Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield NHS trust seeks terminally-ill man's right to die

The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have asked a High Court judge to give them permission to allow a terminally-ill man to die.

The man, a professional drummer aged in his 50s, has a condition which affects the nerves of the brain stem.

Lawyers representing the trust told Mr Justice Hayden the man had lost the ability to swallow, was immobile, could not communicate and would not recover.

The judge has been analysing the case at the Court of Protection in London.

At the public hearing, lawyers said specialists at the trust wanted permission not to resuscitate the man if he suffered a cardiac arrest and not to administer antibiotics if he developed a serious infection.

'Getting worse'

Mr Justice Hayden said the man could not be identified but the trust could be named.

Paul Spencer, for the trust, said there was evidence the man had not liked the idea of being treated in hospitals.

"His expressed wish was not to be treated in hospital or in a nursing home," said Mr Spencer.

Mr Spencer said the man's condition had stopped him playing the drums and he said alcohol had then been a "significant feature" in the man's life.

In a statement, the man's partner told the court he had loved music and played in bands, but his illness had affected his co-ordination and his ability to play.

"He knew he was getting worse," she said.

"He would be devastated with his current position."

The hearing continues.

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