The District Court of Warsaw has ruled that a Polish man who is a coma in a British hospital is legally incapacitated and, at the request of the Warsaw Prosecutor’s office, has approved that he be brought to Poland for treatment.
The Warsaw prosecutor’s press office announced that “The District Court in Warsaw, at the request of the prosecutor, adjudicated that the proceedings were secured by consenting to the man’s transport to the territory of Poland. The prosecutor’s office said it was acting to protect the man’s human and civil rights, “in particular the right to life and health.”
The man, a Polish national known only as R.S. suffered a cardiac arrest on November 6th last, and has been in a coma in a Plymouth hospital in southwest England since. Doctors say he has been left with severe and permanent brain damage.
The hospital, supported by the man’s wife and children, made an application to a court for permission to turn off his life support system but this was opposed by the man’s mother and sister in Poland who argued that the patient, as a practising Catholic, would oppose the turning off of life support owing to his faith. They also claim that the man’s condition had improved, producing video evidence which they say shows him blinking when they were in the room.
After a British the court rejected the appeal for the man to continue to be given treatment, his mother and sister took their case to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, but they also rejected their plea.
The Polish Catholic Bishops and their British counterparts have asked that the man’s family be allowed to bring him to a Polish clinic for treatment.
Deputy Health Minister Waldemar Kraska said this weekend that Polish authorities were ready to transport the man to the Budzik Clinic in north-eastern Poland, and that medical staff were waiting only for the transportation to take place. “A person should always be given a chance,” Kraska said. “It is not we who decide when a man dies.”
On Friday, Deputy Justice Minister Marcin Warchol announced that a diplomatic passport in the patient’s name had been sent to the Polish consulate in London and if UK authorities recognised it, the man’s case would come under Polish jurisdiction, paving the way for him to be repatriated, according to The First News.