Life support

A judge will decide if the survival of the Covid patient should end

A grandmother at the center of a survival treatment battle is the “most complicated” Covid-19 patient in the world, a judge said.

The woman, in her 50s, suffered brain damage and is paralyzed from neck to toe after contracting Covid-19, Judge Hayden heard.

Specialists treating her at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge say life-saving treatment should end.

Relatives disagree and say that the woman, who cannot speak and is on a ventilator, should be given more time.

Judge Hayden reviews evidence at a trial in Protective Court, where judges oversee hearings focused on adults who lack the mental capacity to make decisions.

The judge, who is based in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said it was the first of its kind.

“This is the most extreme example of its kind, and it is the first time in the whole of the pandemic that I have been asked to make an end-of-life decision in relation to Covid-19”, a- he declared.

“This is the first time that a court has been invited to consider an end-of-life case, following Covid. ”

He told the hearing on Tuesday: “(She is) the most complicated Covid patient in the world in terms of neurological complications. But we are no longer dealing with the Covid.

“What she has are these deep complications that have attacked all fronts of her body.”

Doctors told the judge there was nothing they could do to improve “any aspect of her condition” and said the resuscitation treatment is causing her distress and adding to her “burden”.

They believe her life expectancy can be measured in months and putting her on a hospice plan would allow her to die peacefully and without distress.

Judge Hayden said this was the first time a judge had considered an end-of-life case following Covid-19.

He heard how the woman went to the hospital with symptoms of Covid-19 at the end of 2020.

She was told she had underlying health issues, including diabetes, and was overweight.

Lawyer Katie Gollop QC, representing hospital bosses, told the judge the woman had gone to the hospital “urgently.”

She said the woman’s case appeared to be “unique”. The woman was “almost completely paralyzed” and suffered from “severe” cognitive impairment.

A specialist said the woman had previously unrecognized complications in the UK.

The judge heard testimony from the adult children and the woman’s sister on Wednesday.

“I know she wouldn’t want us to abandon her,” the sister told the judge. “I still think my sister would like us to exhaust all avenues to support her.”

Judge Hayden said the woman was going to die, and the question was how and when, and told relatives, “This is the dilemma for me, as it is for all of you.

“She’s not going to get better – it’s just a matter of months.

“This is a really, really difficult case. It is a really difficult situation.


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