Laura Willis at DBF Law

Laura Willis – Associate Solicitor – discusses

the news that a court ruling is not needed to withdraw care.

The Court of Protection has recently ruled that legal permission will no longer be required to end care for patients in a permanent vegetative state. This means that if doctors and close family members believe that it is in the individual’s best interest then doctors can withdraw treatment that will lead to the end of that person’s life without necessarily having to seek approval from the Court. This has been extended to include the removal of food and drink provided that it is in the individual’s best interest. The position prior to this ruling was that even if the close family members and doctors consented then a Judge’s consent was still required in order to withdraw various forms of treatment.

It seems that the Court of Protection has taken into account the decisions tackled by the NHS on a daily basis and also the vast financial and emotional costs borne by families, who wish to make a decision which is in the best interest of their family member without having to go through the lengthy and costly Court process to get approval from the Court. This decision ultimately allows families together with treating doctors to make a decision on behalf of an individual in a vegetative state without the added time, expense and stress of having to go to court.

However, it is important that you have Lasting Powers of Attorneys for Health and Welfare in place that appoint specific attorneys to make this type of decision on your behalf in the event that you lose capacity. If you do not have an attorney appointed to make decisions like this about your Health and Welfare then your next of kin may not have the legal authority to make such decisions and it could then the Doctors who make the overriding decision about these critical decisions.

For more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact Laura Willis on 0161 832 3304 or


Read what our clients have to say...

View All

Excellent experience start to finish – always very responsive to any queries and the turnaround on the property I was buying was very quick, even in the busy time leading up to stamp duty deadline. Jenny was always very helpful and went above and beyond to close on a short timescale.

Ben Armitage

“Very approachable, practical solutions to problems, but most of all very responsive which I personally think is very important because if you need help, you need it quickly, or at least to know someone is looking at it for you”.

Joanne Rowe, Finance Director, Greater Manchester Chamber

“Always able to contact, very approachable, friendly and professional”

Nives Feely, JAM Recruitment

“I believe I have been able to establish a professional working relationship with everyone I have come into contact. Importantly, I sense the relationships which have been established give me the confidence that I can make contact with Davis Blank Furniss at any time and on any matter. I would also like to express my thanks to the very impressive “gatekeepers” who work in reception, not only for making me very welcome, but also for their professionalism”

Bill Pryke, CEO, Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors

“Thank you for your efficient and friendly help throughout this process. We have had it easy but your approach has been part of that”.

Robert Amsbury (Conveyancing Client)

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank you personally for the ongoing support and assistance the firm has offered to our parents over the years. I hope also that we may be able to call on you if necessary in the future.”

Valerie Fisher (Probate Client)

“Jo always provides great service, understands our needs and delivers on her promises. Our needs are relatively simple but the complexity arises out of the volume of work and short time frames, Jo always delivers.”

Peter Fernandez, Corporate Director at Royal Bank of Scotland

“A big thank you to all who dealt with my wife’s claim… We would not hesitate to recommend Davis Blank Furniss to anyone that may be in a situation like we have been…”

Anon (Personal Injury client)

“Before putting my case in Kirsty (Morbey)’s capable hands I’ve met a couple of other solicitors. None of them listen to me as intently as Kirsty and showed me as much empathy and understanding as she did. Simultaneously she was able to look at my case from legal perspective, explain all the options and follow each of our meetings with written summary of the discussed matters (in timely manner). Her advice was invaluable and led me to successfully ending the case matter (hopeful for good). I’m forever grateful for he work and would definitely recommend her to anyone looking for reliable, knowledgeable and committed solicitor”.

Anon (Family client)
5 star service

Our Manchester office is rated 5 stars on Google