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Additional info for Death Rites: Law and Ethics at the End of Life
77 In the House of Lords Lord Goff, with whom two others purported78 to agree, did treat the evidence as relevant, and the withdrawal of consent justifiable, in effect, on Bolam79 grounds. The speech of Lord BrowneWilkinson80 also treated the doctor’s view as being of importance. 82 All the judges in Bland regarded the case as revolving solely around the legal position of the patient as subject, and were not prepared to countenance explicitly the intervention of any other kind of consideration.
23 Bowers v. Hardwick 478 US 186 (1986). ) at p. 417 et seq. Richards, ‘Constitutional privacy, the right to die and the meaning of life: a moral analysis’, William and Mary Law Review 22 (1981):327; and Linda Fentiman, ‘Privacy and personhood revisited: a new framework for substitute decisionmaking for the incompetent, incurable adult’, George Washington Law Review 57 (1989):801. 26 At p. 252. 27 She cites the famous judgment of Brandeis J, dissenting in New State Ice Co. v. Liebmann, 285 US 262, 311 (1932).
In a series of decisions the English courts have made it clear that the family does have a role to discharge in the taking of decisions in this area. They have all dealt with the treatment of neonates, in respect of whom there 24 PETER ALLDRIDGE is a presumption that the parents’ consent is a relevant matter,55 but nevertheless the same principles may well apply. In the case of Re J56 the question was whether a child should be treated in the event that it suffered a further seizure of a type which, if not treated, could prove fatal.