Name for pressing investigation after a court-ruled man might die

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Reuters

Christian Concern calls for an urgent investigation after the court ruled that a man who did not want to live with an ostomy pouch could die.

The campaign group said the 34-year-old's last wish, referred to in court records as just the MSP, was to receive treatment for life, despite the man's statement that he refused to consent to life-saving treatment.

MSP was seriously ill with longstanding bowel problems and was treated at the Barnsley Hospital.

In February, he wrote a "pre-guideline" not to live with a stoma – a hole in the stomach that allows digestive waste to be recovered – and had his provisional pouch removed on May 14.

Days later, he was returned to the hospital with severe abdominal pain and sepsis. Christian Concern says that at the time, MSP had changed his mind about the prospect of dying and agreed to have a stoma attached during major surgery.

After the operation, MSP was sedated and brought to the intensive care unit. The doctors said he had a good chance of survival but needed a permanent stoma.

Barnsley Hospital then made an urgent request to Mr. Justice Hayden to determine if this treatment was in the best interest of MSP.

After hearing evidence in a virtual court session, Judge Hayden determined that MSP had the right to refuse life-saving treatment. According to the Daily Mail, MSP has now died after life support was withdrawn.

Christian Concern argues that the man's last wishes should have determined the hospital's course of action and that MSP's pre-guideline was legally invalid because it "was not properly carried out or testified".

Andrea Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said: "This case has become known to the public and the verdict raises serious questions that need to be answered.

"When it comes to life and death, the system has to be transparent and subjected to an appropriate review."

She continued: "It cannot be right that the law can give a judge absolute authority to appear to enforce his or her own ideas of whether it is in a patient's best interest to live or die.

"This gets worse when it is up to the same judge to say whether the patient is unable to make his own decision. Taken together, this means unlimited power over a person's life and death. This is further exacerbated by the court's secrecy reinforces protection and family department procedures. "

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