‘I’m sorry, but the diagnosis is as we feared, would you like us to proceed with palliative treatment?’
This is the news that we as doctors dread to deliver and that our patients dread to receive. So what happens when you have to say this to the parents of a one-day old baby, seemingly entirely healthy aside from a distinct bluish tinge around the toes and fingers? When are we able to suggest that their baby is unlikely to live a happy fulfilled life, so it is probably best that we just keep her comfortable and let her slip away before it becomes too hard?
The European Court of Human Rights recently ruled on a case involving suspected child abuse. This article highlights the way in which articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights are applied by the courts, and the significance of the Act for medical professionals who suspect abuse.
A recent BBC documentary, ‘Between life and death’ followed the moving stories of three patients at the Addenbrooke’s Neurological Critical Care Unit, a leading centre of its kind in the world . These patients were all involved in road traffic accidents that left them deeply brain damaged and dependent on life support machines.