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PROLONGED DISORDERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS: Accurate assessment and investigation of clients

26 October 2017  

Helen Gill-Thwaites and Karen Elliott advise what to expect from your expert and assessors

Accurate assessment of a client with prolonged disorders of consciousness (PDOC), to differentiate between vegetative state (VS) and minimally conscious state (MCS), is both critical and challenging. Clarity of diagnosis is essential for litigation cases, to help determine future management, care and resource allocation. More recently, given the landmark ruling by Peter Jackson J in M v A Hospital [2017] that there is now no requirement for cases to involve the courts for the consideration of withdrawal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH), when there is agreement between the family and the treating physician, this change only accentuates that accurate assessment is tantamount.

Additional Info

  • Case(s) Referenced:

    M v A Hospital [2017] EWCOP 19

    W v M [2011] EWCOP 2443 (Fam)

Last modified on 26 October 2017