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Christian teen in legal case against NHS Trust for life-preserving treatment

by Kelly Valencia

A Christian teenager is fighting to keep her life-preserving treatment after her doctors' decision to move her to palliative care.

The 19-year-old, who suffers from a rare genetic disorder known as mitochondrial depletion syndrome (MDS), is contesting her doctors' judgment. She is seeking permission to travel to Canada to participate in a clinical trial offering experimental treatment for her condition.

However, her medical team contends that she is "actively dying" and that transitioning to end-of-life care is in her best interest.

The teenager, identified only by the initials 'ST' due to court restrictions, requires constant hospital care but remains conscious and capable of communication.  She expressed her concerns to the Daily Mail: “My doctors are saying because they cannot treat my MDS, I should not be having any more life-preserving treatment.

"Instead I should be filled up with opioids so I will lose consciousness and die.

"I do not want this and want to try the treatment being offered abroad. It might be a small chance, but it is my only chance."

ST's family argues that while the treatment in Canada may not provide a cure, it could potentially extend her life.

In a previous hearing, Mrs. Justice Roberts ruled that the decision regarding her treatment should be determined by a court.

Her family told the Daily Mail it had been a year of continuous torture for them all: “We are shocked to be told by the judge that our daughter does not have the capacity to make decisions for herself, after all the experts have said that she does.”

The family is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre. Its CEO, Andrea Williams said: “This frightening case highlights everything that is wrong with the practice of end-of-life decision-making in the NHS and the courts.

“It shows profound disrespect for the wishes and beliefs of the patients and their families. What can be more natural or rational for a seriously ill 19-year-old than to leave no stone unturned and to take every chance of survival?”

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