From triple helix - Summer 2019 - What next? Withdrawal of Clinically Assisted Nutrition and Hydration
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The Supreme Court has ruled 1 that clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) may be withdrawn from patients in prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC) without court approval, where the family and the clinicians agree it would be in the 'best interests' of the patient and the legal requirements of the 2005 Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2 have been followed. This will apply to:
The British Medical Association and Royal College of Physicians (RCP) have issued joint guidance 3 in response to this ruling.
The guidance addresses some, bu no means all, of the conerns raised. So, how shall we now respond?
CMF is forming a working group of clinicians and lawyers:
For more information on CANH see CMF File: 69, No water, no life.
Review by Rick Thomas, CMF Public Policy Researcher
1. An NHS Trust and others (Respondents) v Y  UKSC 46
2. Mental Capacity Act 2005. bit.ly/2MtLqkx
3. Clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH): New guidance to support doctors making decisions about CANH for adults who lack capacity in England and Wales. BMA 24 May 2019. bit.ly/2C5XSkC
4. CMF Files. cmf.li/CMF_Files