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“Burdensome and futile” treatment and dignity compromised: Poor practice at a leading UK hospital

Kitzinger, Jenny ORCID: 2021. “Burdensome and futile” treatment and dignity compromised: Poor practice at a leading UK hospital. [Online]. Open Justice. Available at:

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Court of Protection judgments can provide valuable insights into everyday care in ways that challenge poor practice and can be used to help improve person-centered care for the future. This is certainly true of last week’s publication of North West London Clinical Commissioning Group & GU [2021] EWCOP 59. The judgment is essential reading for everyone involved in treating patients with Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness [PDoC] or advising care providers about their legal responsibilities. The case focuses on GU, a 70-year-old man in PDoC, cared for at the acknowledged ‘centre of excellence’, the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability [RHN] in Putney, London. The RHN is one of the oldest and most respected centres in the world dedicated to looking after people with a range of neurological conditions and injuries. It has highly trained staff and impressive facilities for the initial assessment, rehabilitation and long-term care of a large cohort of severely brain injured individuals. The RHN also provides training for others and runs a series of interesting talks and conferences about PDoC. In this case, however, the RHN clearly failed to provide high-quality, patient centred care – and part of this Court of Protection judgment is dedicated to exploring why this happened and what lessons might be learned.

Item Type: Website Content
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Publisher: Open Justice
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 23 November 2021
Date of Acceptance: November 2021
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:06

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