MEDICAL ETHICS INTERVENORS IN THE CASE OF OLIVER LESLIE BURKE v THE GENERAL MEDICAL COUNCIL

James Dingermans QC, said the following to the Lords Justice of Appeal on 17th May 2005 on behalf of the Medical Ethics Alliance, Alert and the World Federation of Doctors who Respect Human Life

“As the names of the intervenors suggest some members are medical professionals who have to deal with matters discussed in this appeal on a day to day basis....The intervenors advance 3 oral submissions.

First ANH cannot be withheld or withdrawn when it has been requested where death is not imminent unless life is intolerable to the patient.

Second: For this reason paragraph 81 of the GMC`s guidance should be clarified.

Third: It would be helpful to ensure (if only by means of this judgement ) that patients and their families are told of their right to obtain legal advice..........This a situation where the doctors have guidance access to lawyers and patients or their families have nothing.”