LONDON, Aug 26 ( – Neil Lane is urging doctors in England to euthanize his 42-year-old wife Lorraine by withholding food and water. Lane claims his wife, who has been in a coma for the past six months, would have desired death. Acceptance of the suggestion would lead England further along the road towards euthanasia since, although in a coma, Mrs. Lane has detectable brain activity. BBC news reports that in 1992 British courts allowed doctors to starve 22-year-old Tony Bland to death claiming he was in a Persistent Vegetative State,  meaning he had no detectable brain activity.

In 1997 England’s Royal College of Physicians published guidelines saying doctors may decide to euthanize patients by withholding food and water if “the patient has devastating and permanent neurological injury which is so incompatible with conscious, self-directed activity as to constitute a demonstrably awful life.” Further, the guidelines said that, while the consultant in charge should make the final decision, an ideal situation would be one in which the patient’s relatives are supportive of the decision.

For the story on the College’s guidelines see:
UK Leaps Towards Involuntary Euthanasia

For a BBC report on the story see:
Coma case could push euthanasia limits