Hospital wins right to withdraw feeding from dying patient; COURT AGREES FOOD TUBE WOULD NOT HELP STANLEY.
Byline: JOSHUA TAYLOR Social Affairs Writer email@example.com @taylorjoshua1
AN AILING 86-year-old, whose son yesterday lost a legal fight with Aintree hospital bosses to fit a feeding tube, may not survive beyond the end of the week.
Stan Hampson had complained that his father Stanley Hampson, who is in the advanced stages of dementia, was starving because he had difficulty swallowing.
He wanted staff to fit a feeding tube, which doctors said would be unethical because it would hurt but not benefit the pensioner.
Yesterday a judge made a ruling in the hospital's favour after analysing the case at a public hearing in the Court of Protection in London.
Mrs Justice Roberts heard that Stanley Hampson, a former warehouse manager, had been diagnosed with dementia in 2014. Doctors said his condition had deteriorated very recently and said they did not expect him to live to the end of the week.
The judge said the dispute had arisen in February - before the pensioner's recent deterioration.
She heard evidence from a specialist and from Stan Hampson - who spoke by telephone from the hospital where his father was being cared for.
"My father is effectively starving to death," Stan Hampson told Mrs Justice Roberts.
"He has not eaten a morsel for six weeks. He cannot eat and the hospital has just overseen his starvation."
Doctors said they had treated the pensioner in line with clinical guidelines. They said a feeding tube would have to be fitted under sedation.
They said such a procedure would be risky and not fair to the pensioner and that nothing could be done to improve his life expectancy.
Mrs Justice Roberts heard that the pensioner had been hydrated via a drip and offered pureed food and she said she agreed with medics' analysis.
She refused to order staff to fit a feeding tube and said the focus had to be on ensuring that the pensioner ended his life in as much peace and comfort as possible.
Aintree Hospital, where 86-year-old Stanley Hampson is suffering from dementia