Orders sought allowing doctors not to resuscitate man

The HSE wants court orders allowing doctors not to resuscitate a severely brain-injured man if his condition deteriorates further.

Doctors consider the man, aged in his thirties and on ventilator support for some years, has irreversible brain injury with a poor prognosis. His condition is deteriorating and they believe he will most likely eventually succumb to severe pneumonia and die.

The man’s parents believe he is communicating with them and do not want his existing status altered pending their consideration of two independent medical reports, which the HSE has agreed to commission, regarding his ability to communicate.

His status will remain unaltered pending those reports and unless and until any court order is made, Peter Finlay, for the HSE, told High Court president Mr Justice Peter Kelly.

The judge made the man a ward of court and returned the matter to October to allow those reports be prepared and considered.

The parents have separately taken personal injury proceedings alleging their son’s present condition is due to medical negligence on the part of the HSE, its servants or agents. A defence to that claim is awaited, the court heard.


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