South Yorkshire mum asks judge to allow son to die

A judge is considering whether a South Yorkshire man in his 30s should be allowed to die because he does not want to live with a stoma.

By Claire Lewis
Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 12:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd June 2020, 2:59 pm

The man has a history of bowel problems and is sedated in intensive care unit after undergoing major surgery.

Specialists say he has a 60 to 70 per cent chance of surviving but will need a permanent stoma - a surgical opening on the abdomen though which urine or faeces can be diverted out of the body.

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Barnsley Hospital

Earlier this year, the man made a written ‘advanced decision’ saying he would not want to live with a permanent stoma.

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Hospital bosses responsible for the man's care in Barnsley have asked Mr Justice Hayden to decide what is in the man's best interests.

The judge considered evidence at a virtual hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges make decisions about people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, yesterday.

He is expected to deliver a ruling in the next few days.

He said bosses at Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had responsibility for the man's care and had asked for a ruling.

The man's parents spoke to the judge at Monday's hearing.

They said their son's wishes should be respected and urged the judge to rule that doctors could stop providing food and water by artificial means.

Mr Justice Hayden was told how the man had lived with a temporary stoma before.

“He hated it,” the man's mother said.

“He said ‘How can I get a job? How can I get a woman?’

“We support what he wants. It is not what we want. It is what our son wants.

“We know what he has gone through.”

Mr Justice Hayden said many people lived ‘perfectly full lives’ with a stoma.

But he said the man had delivered a ‘consistent’ message.

“The evidence is very much that he has a goodish prospect, 66 per cent, of recovery, against a background of this very, very consistent message that he does not want to live with a stoma,” said the judge.

“There is pretty powerful evidence that life for him lost its spice when he had a stoma.”