Courts hear the first case on the right to die.

16 August 2012

Upon emerging from a coma, the doctors diagnosed M as in a persistent vegetative state. After several years of existing in this manner, the family felt there was no hope of M recovering and becoming conscious and looked to the courts to confirm M's right to die. M had mentioned to family previously that she would not want to exist in such a state but the court held that such comments were not intended to be legally binding. Medical expert evidence was given and they felt that M was in a minimally conscious state and could experience some things. Whilst it was agreed a 'do not resuscitate' order should be continued, but there was no clear evidence about M's wishes to not remain alive in the specific circumstances, if there had been they would have been taken into account. As such, the Court held preservation of life was fundamental and rejected the right to die plea. This case highlights the importance of formally noting what you would like to happen in various scenarios, by way of a Lasting Power of Attorney. This can ensure your wishes are noted down legally and will then be a large factor in any Court decisions. Gepp and Sons have a team of highly experienced lawyers who are able to offer advice on setting up an LPA. For more information please complete our Enquiry Form call us on 01245 493939 or email The above is not legal advice; it is intended to provide information of general interest about current legal issues.