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13 - Cases - artificial nutrition

There have been three iconic cases where a person was being kept alive through artificial nutrition and where there was no prospect of any recovery and thus, artificial feeding could be legally discontinued.

The first such case was Karan Ann Quinlan who was allowed to pass in 1976. She had slipped into a persistent vegetative state following the ingestion of alcohol and benzodiazepine. Her artificial nutrition was discontinued and she was allowed to die.

The second such sad case was Tony Bland, crushed in the Hillsbury football stadium disaster and starved of oxygen suffering irreversible brain damage. His tube feeding was discontinued in 1993 and he was allowed to die.

The third case happened in Ireland. This young woman was the victim of medical negligence and suffered irreversible brain damage from which she never could recover. She was eventually allowed to pass away after 22 years in a coma in 1995. It is on this case that my book, The Foxhunter, is based.


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