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End of life treatment - hospital banner.jpg
Владимир Щербак / Alamy Stock Photo
End of life treatment - hospital.jpg
Владимир Щербак / Alamy Stock Photo
World News

Spouse of pastor with brain damage loses battle over life-support treatment

by Kelly Valencia

The wife of a brain-damaged pastor has lost her battle to maintain life-support treatment for him. The evangelical pastor sustained "very significant" brain damage following a stroke during kidney dialysis in 2021 and has remained in a coma since.

The health authority in Manchester, responsible for his care, had declared that treatment should cease, asserting that there's "no scope" for rehabilitation, and thus, continuing treatment would not be in his best interests.

However, his wife and family differed in opinion from the authorities, initiating legal action. To the family, only an "act of God" can determine death, and they emphasised that the pastor's faith would lead him to seek treatment for as long as possible.

Despite this, in a recent ruling, Mr Justice Hayden, overseeing the case, aligned with the NHS Trust, affirming that the decision to terminate treatment was "well-founded."

“Everything possible has been done,” he said.

Acknowledging the family’s faith, the Judge stated he understood that the pastor was “a man who lived his life by the Pentecostal sword and would have wanted to die by the Pentecostal sword in accordance with his Pentecostal beliefs”.

“(He) would have chosen to continue his life-sustaining treatment even in the face of coma.”

However, Mr Justice Hayden continued by saying that while an individual’s wishes and feelings “weighed heavily,” they were “not to be regarded as determinative”.

He also requested medics to delay ending treatment until relatives had been given a chance to say their goodbyes.

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