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The family of a COVID patient with brain damage will find out if life support equipment should be turned off


The family of ‘the world’s most complex Covid patient’ will find out today if they have won the appeal against a ruling that life-support machines for a grandmother in her fifties must be turned off after she sustained brain damage from the virus.

  • The ‘world’s most complex COVID patient’ family’s fight to keep her alive
  • The judge ruled that the brain-damaged grandmother should be allowed to die
  • The woman’s relatives disagreed and said she should be given more time
  • They have asked three appeals judges to overturn Mr. Hayden’s decision
  • The Court of Appeal is scheduled to publish its ruling in the case today










The family of a grandmother in her fifties who suffered brain damage and paralyzed from the neck down after contracting COVID-19 will find out today whether they should end their life-support treatment.

Specialists treating the woman – described by doctors as the world’s most complex Covid patient – at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge said she should be allowed to die.

A judge ruled earlier this year that her life-support treatment should end, but her relatives appealed that decision in an appeals court hearing a few weeks ago and the ruling is due to be published today.

Mr Hayden initially looked at the evidence at a trial at Protection Court, where judges are overseeing hearings focused on adults who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, in London and concluded that life-supportive treatment should stop by the end of October.

The woman’s relatives disagreed and said she should be given more time, arguing that she could “feel and show degrees of emotion” and enjoy watching the TV series EastEnders and love Mr. Bean.

Specialists treating the woman – described by doctors as the world’s most complex Covid patient – at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge said she should be allowed to die.

Sir Andrew MacFarlane, the chief justice of the Court of Protection in England and Wales, Lord Justice Moylan and Sir Nicholas Patten, heard the controversy at a session of the Court of Appeal in London in early November.

Lawyers say life supportive treatment will continue until the three appeals judges have made a decision.

Doctors told Mr Hayden, who works in the family division of the Supreme Court, that the woman was the world’s most “complicated” Covid patient.

Specialists in Addenbrooke said there was nothing they could do to improve “any aspect of her condition” and that life support treatment was causing her anxiety and increasing her “burden”.

Mr Hayden initially looked at the evidence at a trial at Protection Court in London and concluded that life-supporting treatment should be stopped by the end of October

Mr Hayden initially looked at the evidence at a trial at Protection Court in London and concluded that life-supporting treatment should be stopped by the end of October

They believed her life expectancy could be measured in months, and they said moving her to the palliative care system would enable her to die peacefully and without distress.

Mr Hayden said it was the first time a judge had looked into an end-of-life case as a result of Covid.

He heard how the woman, who was overweight and had underlying health issues, was admitted to hospital with Covid symptoms in late 2020.

Attorney Katie Gollop, who represented the hospital heads, said the woman’s case appeared to be “unique”. She said the woman was “almost completely paralyzed” and had “severe” cognitive impairment.

One specialist said the woman had experienced complications not previously described in the UK.

Mr. Hayden ruled that the woman could not be identified in media reports.

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