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    Euthanasia of Poles in the United Kingdom

    Thousands of Poles living in the United Kingdom have been galvanised by a decision of an English court which allows a hospital to discontinue the treatment which is keeping a patient alive. The man, a Pole, suffered a heart attack last November. The hospital argues that the man is now in a persistent vegetatative state, but other neurologists argue that he remains in a state of minimal awareness and that he is breathing independently and reacts to the presence of his family.


    The decision at first instance was upheld by the appeal court which gave the man’s family time until 7th January to consider other solutions, including the use of international funds. The Polish Ordo Iuris Institute has requested a provisional decision from the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on this matter. It emphasized that Art. 10 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities provides everyone, including the disabled, with the right to life. This provision does not value this right according to the “quality” of a person’s life. In addition  art. 15 of the Convention prohibits the cruel treatment of disabled people. Art. 22 affirms the right of people with disabilities to receive respect for their private and family life, as well as their honor and reputation. Art. 25 underlines the right of people with disabilities to the highest possible state of health.


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