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Airedale NHS Trust v Bland [1993]


  • Doctors sought a declaration that it was acceptable to turn off the life support machines which had held a patient in a persistent vegetative state for more than 2 years


  • Could a declaration be obtained


  • Yes


  • Where a person is unable to give or withhold their own consent, doctors are entitled to decide what is in that patient’s best interests
  • It may in the best interests of the patient to discontinue treatment
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