Considering the Boundaries of Decision-Making Authority: An NHS Trust v Y  UKSC 46
June 2019, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 153–157
Posted: 24 Jul 2019
Date Written: July 23, 2019
The protection of vulnerable patients, consent to (or refusal of) medical treatment, the concept of best interests and definitions of futile treatment have all been extensively debated in the courts and addressed in relevant legislation. The only true clarity around any of these concepts is that they are complex and subject to individual interpretation, therefore it is unsurprising that they continue to present a challenge to the modern judiciary and legislature. A recent decision by the of the UK was called upon to consider, inter alia these concepts and others in the face of the challenging question of whether or not court guidance is always needed when loved ones and medical teams agree that it is in the best interests of a patient to withdraw and withhold artificial nutrition and hydration. The short answer? It’s complicated. The longer answer is considered below.
Keywords: decision-making, best interests, judicial process, withdrawl of treatment
JEL Classification: K1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation