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Dignity in Dying statement on Hannah Jones case (11th November 2008)

11 November 2008

Dignity in Dying statement on Hannah Jones case

Sarah Wootton, Chief Executive of Dignity in Dying, said today:

“The case of Hannah Jones underlines the need to ensure that all health professionals communicate effectively with patients and their loved ones. Ultimately, all involved in end-of-life decision making want what is best for the patient. If a mentally competent adult disagrees with their doctors they are able to refuse treatment, as enshrined by the Mental Capacity Act. In the case of terminally ill children it is essential that parents and doctors are confident that refusing treatment is in the child’s best interests, and that due regard is given to the quality of the child’s life.

“Our thoughts are very much with the Jones family, and we are glad that common sense has prevailed in this case. Given the importance of the decisions being taken, cases involving end-of-life decisions and children need to be reviewed case by case. However, Primary Care Trusts should only seek to take cases to the High Court if they are convinced that the child’s best interests are not being served.”


Notes to editor:

About Dignity in Dying:

Dignity in Dying campaigns for greater choice, control and access to services at the end of life. It advocates providing terminally ill adults with the option of an assisted death, within strict legal safeguards, and for universal access to high quality end-of-life care.

Dignity in Dying is a leading provider of advance decisions. Advance decisions allow adults to set out in advance any medical treatments that they wish to refuse at the end of life.

Dignity in Dying has over 100,000 supporters and receives its funding entirely from donations from the public.

Opinion polls consistently show that at least 80% of the UK population supports a change in the law on assisted dying.

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