CPR ruling if mother of eight in vegetative state stops breathing

Doctors should try to resuscitate a mother of eight who fell into a vegetative state after suffering a cardiac arrest less than two months ago, if she stops breathing, a judge has ruled after a hearing in a specialist court.

Specialists caring for the woman, who is in her 60s, wanted Mr Justice Keehan to rule that performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) would not be in her best interests.

They said CPR would be futile and unnecessarily burdensome for her.

But Mr Justice Keehan on Thursday rejected an application by hospital bosses after the woman’s children raised objections and said she should be given a chance to make a recovery.

He said it was too soon to make a do-not-resuscitate decision.

The judge said a time might come when CPR would not be in the woman’s best interests, but that stage had not yet been reached.

Mr Justice Keehan had analysed evidence at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues in relation to  people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, in London.

The judge said bosses at the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust had made the application.

He said neither the woman nor her location could not be identified.

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