British Hospital Allows Down Syndrome Patient to Starve to Death Over 26 Days
by Steven Ertelt
January 9, 2009
London, England (LifeNews.com) — In a scandal that is causing a massive outcry, a British hospital has allowed a Down syndrome patient to starve to death over a 26 day period. Martin Ryan, who could not swallow after a stroke, was allowed to lie in a bed and starve to death without receiving any medical care.
Ryan died in a hospital in Kingston-upon-Thames and the medical center conducted an internal investigation following his death.
The query found that doctors thought staff nurses were feeding him with a feeding tube in his nose, but by the time anyone realized that had not happened for weeks, Ryan was took weak for a surgery to insert a gastronomy tube in his stomach.
Ryan died five days after medical staff noticed the problem and his family, according to a London Daily Mail report, is outraged.
One relative told the newspaper, "Martin will always be the light of my life. He had a quirky sense of humor and oodles of charm. He was often smiling — he loved to go out, liked the movement of the coach and listening to the music."
A report by the Mencap charity following the incident found the British governmental health service has also failed other people with mental difficulties, citing a young woman denied cancer treatment and a young man who died during treatment for a broken leg.
Anthony Ozimic, the political secretary of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, a British pro-life group, told LifeNews.com the British government must be held accountable for what is becoming routine discrimination against the mentally disabled.
"Mencap has identified institutional discrimination within Britain’s healthcare services against people with learning disabilities," he said. "Yet lethal institutional discrimination against the disabled and vulnerable is enshrined in law and policy, particularly in the pro-euthanasia Mental Capacity Act which Mencap supported."
"Disabled adults will continue to die because of discriminatory attitudes whilst the Mental Capacity Act and the killing of disabled unborn children, which manifest those attitudes, remain law," Ozimic added.
An ombudsman has been investigating such cases as Ryan’s and is expected to report soon.
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