Sam Karim QC and Sophie Hurst represent P’s family following an application for the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment

In an application made to the Court of Protection for the withdrawal of life sustaining treatment, Sam Karim QC and Sophie Hurst represented the wife of P, a man in his early 50s who was placed on an extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine having suffered pulmonary embolisms, cardiac arrest and later testing positive for COVID-19.

The Court was required to consider the finely balanced factors in favour of continuing treatment and those in favour of withdrawing it, hearing evidence from P’s treating consultant, an independent medical expert, members of P’s family and his Pastor. Whilst continuing the treatment would have accorded with the wishes of P’s family and his religious beliefs, Mr Justice Keehan had to undertake the challenging exercise of balancing this with the overwhelming medical evidence that there were no alternative treatments available and that the continued use of ECMO was futile, burdensome and provided no prospect of recovery.

In this tragic case, the Court determined it was in P’s best interests to withdraw life sustaining treatment and move to a palliative care plan.

Reported – Re KM [2021] 5 WLUK 89







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