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W (a child), Re [2005] EWCA Civ 185

Decision concerning non-resuscitation of seriously ill baby upheld.

W (a child), Re [2005] EWCA Civ 185

Court of Appeal: Thorpe, Potter and Wall LJJ (9 February 2005)

Summary
Decision concerning non-resuscitation of seriously ill baby upheld.

Background
This was an appeal against the decision of Hedley J on 28 January 2005 ([2005] EWHC 117 (Fam)), in which he confirmed that the court order making it lawful for doctors not to resuscitate a seriously ill baby, W, if she stopped breathing must remain in force while further enquiries were made.

The ground for the appeal was that the judge had applied the wrong test or, alternatively, investigated the wrong aspect in reaching his decision: namely, he had focused on W's 'underlying condition', which remained unchanged, rather than giving appropriate consideration to the aspects of her life which appeared to have improved dramatically.

Judgment
Held, dismissing the appeal, that the judge had made a discretionary determination which was not the product of any misdirection. Also, a two-day hearing in the very near future had already been fixed for further investigation.

Read the full text of the judgment