Saturday, November 13, 2004

Baby Dies By Court Order

Terminally-ill Luke is allowed to die
By Nigel Bunyan
(Filed: 13/11/2004)

Luke Winston-Jones, the terminally ill baby whose level of medical care was determined by a High Court judge, died yesterday at Alder Hey Children's Hospital.
Merseyside Police confirmed last night that Luke's family had made a formal complaint over his death. The force said it would be carrying out an investigation.
The nine-month-old child was originally given only days to live after being diagnosed at birth with the genetic disorder Edwards syndrome.
His mother, Ruth Winston-Jones, 35, of Holyhead, north Wales, fought to save her "little fighter'', despite being told by medical staff that his condition was so poor that he should be allowed to die.
Last month doctors at Gwynedd Hospital, Bangor, and Alder Hey, Liverpool, won a ruling that allowed them to withhold life-saving treatment involving "aggressive'' mechanical ventilation if the child's condition deteriorated.
News of Luke's death was disclosed by his aunt, Jacqui Kirkwood. She demanded an inquiry into how doctors complied with the court's instructions regarding Luke's care. She said procedures were not carried out that would have saved Luke's life.
Sources at Alder Hey rejected her claims, insisting that doctors had actually done more than was required of them by the court order, and had tried to resuscitate him for over an hour
The hospital said in a statement: "The trust is confident that it has always acted in the best interests of Luke and has fully complied with the recent ruling from the High Court.''