Swedish health board grants paralysed woman the right to die

medical-tools-littleThe Swedish National Board of Health and Welfare has declared that a paralysed 32-year-old woman will be allowed to terminate her treatment.

The woman, who cannot move and has been living on a respirator since she was six years old, will now be able to choose whether or not to continue with her life prolonging care.

“It is always the individual patient who decides, together with their doctor, over treatment and care. While the board does not make decisions in individual cases, we can describe the legal framework that applies and we have now done so,” said Anders Printz of the welfare board.

In a formal letter, both to the paralysed woman and to other patients who had made similar requests, the board advised that “health care legislation emphasises respect for patient autonomy and integrity and that care should as much as possible be designed and implemented in consultation with the patient”.

The woman, whose neurological illness has led to an ongoing deterioration of her condition, welcomed the board’s decision. “I am very happy and my soul is at ease,” she was reported as saying by The Local.

In making its ruling, the board pointed out that existing legislation stipulates that, “if the patient does not want a life support treatment to be initiated or continued, the physician should respect the patient’s wishes”.

Comments are closed.