Sheffield hospital in legal battle over drummer’s treatment

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A top judge has been asked to decide whether doctors in Sheffield can allow a terminally ill musician to die.

Lawyers for the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said the former drummer, aged in his 50s, had a condition which affected the nerves of the brain stem and would not recover.

They told Mr Justice Hayden, at a hearing in London’s Court of Protection today, the man had lost the ability to swallow, was immobile and could not communicate. They said specialists wanted permission not to resuscitate him if he suffered a cardiac arrest and not to give antibiotics if he developed a serious infection.

Paul Spencer, for the trust, said there was evidence the man had not liked the idea of being treated in hospitals and said alcohol had been a ‘significant feature’ in the man’s life after he lost his ability to play the drums.

Mr Justice Hayden heard evidence from medical experts and friends of the man.

One friend said the man had made his ‘his intense dislike of hospitals’ clear.

Mr Justice Hayden said everyone agreed the man would find his “present position” his “own vision of hell”.

The hearing continues.

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