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Thursday 27th October 2016

Right-to-die plea rejected

20th November 2006

A drug is to be given to a woman in a persistant vegetative state (PVS) in an attempt to wake her up, despite her family's wish she be allowed to die.

The 53-year-old, who has not been named, will be given zolpidem which early research has shown can bring people out of a vegetative state.

But her family are opposing the move, fearing she may be left seriously disabled.

The drug is used to help insomnia but has been cited in several cases where it has caused patients in a persistent vegetative state to wake up temporarily.

The High Court's family division had ruled against the family’s objections in favour of the Official Solicitor representing the woman who suffered a brain haemorrhage in August 2003.

The judgement will allow doctors to give a three-day course, but must stop if the woman appears to suffer. It is not known when the treatment will start.

Campaign group Dignity in Dying feared the woman’s human rights were being overlooked in favour of medical research.

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Article Information

Title: Right-to-die plea rejected
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1186
Date Added: 20th Nov 2006


BBC News
The Times

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