Hills­bor­ough vic­tim al­lowed to die

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Doc­tors treat­ing Hills­bor­ough vic­tim Tony Bland can dis­con­nect feed­ing tubes keep­ing him alive, a judge at the High Court in London has ruled.

The pres­i­dent of the Fam­ily Di­vi­sion, Sir Stephen Brown, said there was no “rea­son­able pos­si­bil­ity” that af­ter three years Mr Bland would emerge from a coma known as a “per­sis­tent veg­e­ta­tive state” or PVS.

Mr Bland's par­ents, Al­lan and Bar­bara, sup­ported the doc­tors' court ac­tion and said they were “re­lieved” at the rul­ing.

Tony Bland, 22, suf­fered se­vere brain dam­age when he and hun­dreds of other foot­ball sup­port­ers were crushed in an over­crowded stand at Hills­bor­ough sta­dium in April 1989. Ninety-five fans died in the dis­as­ter. In the High Court Mr Bland's doc­tors at Airedale Gen­eral Hospi­tal, near Keigh­ley in York­shire and other ex­perts in the field said he could sur­vive for up to five years but he would never re­cover.

If food were with­drawn he would die within days. Sir Stephen ruled, for the first time in an English court, that ar­ti­fi­cial feed­ing through a tube is med­i­cal treat­ment and that to dis­con­tinue treat­ment would be in ac­cor­dance with good med­i­cal prac­tice. The true cause of Mr Bland's death would be the Hills­bor­ough dis­as­ter, Sir Stephen added.

But the lawyer ap­pointed by the Of­fi­cial So­lic­i­tor to act on Mr Bland's be­half ar­gued that to with­draw food from him would be tan­ta­mount to mur­der and said he would be ap­peal­ing against the de­ci­sion.

Doc­tors have agreed to con­tinue feed­ing Mr Bland un­til af­ter the ap­peal is heard on

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