Case (Death). University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust v NZ [2021] EWCOP 16

— NZ was receiving life-sustaining treatment by way of an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation machine (ECMO), a last-resort treatment which had increased by a third during the coronavirus pandemic. The clinical lead consultant for ECMO stated that rather than seeking to preserve her life he was now "prolonging her death", and signalled to the judge that further treatment would be professionally unethical. The judge stated that best interests "requires the broad canvas of NZ's life, circumstances and needs to be considered in their totality" (not just medical opinion, religious beliefs, or wishes and feelings) and that "a court will never seek to compel or encourage a medical professional to act in a way that he or she considers unethical", and concluded that the treatment was not in her best interests.
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