UK court ruling seen as landmark in right-to-die cases

  • Published : Jul 30, 2018 - 21:33
  • Updated : Jul 30, 2018 - 21:33

Supreme Court in Parliament Square in London. (UK Supreme Court)
LONDON (AP) -- Britain's highest court has ruled that the family of a patient in a persistently vegetative state does not need to seek a court's permission to have life support removed. 

The landmark ruling Monday comes in a case involving a man who suffered a brain injury. The 52-year-old man, identified as Mr. Y, has been in a coma since suffering a heart attack. Experts agreed that even if he had regained consciousness, he'd have profound disabilities.

The case landed in the courts because Mr. Y had not drawn up directives to refuse treatment, but his family was certain he would not want to be kept alive.
Mr. Y died before the case was heard by the Supreme Court, but the case proceeded because of the importance of the issues raised.