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February 2, 2021

Polish Parents Outraged After Son was Starved to Death by UK Hospital

photo credit: Ante Samarzija / Unsplash
The Polish patient publicly known as "RS" died from starvation in UK hospital on Jan. 26, even after Polish authorities advocated that he be transferred back to his home country to receive further treatment.

RS was admitted to the hospital on Nov. 6 after experiencing cardiac arrest. He was kept alive in a coma, but University Hospitals Plymouth NHS Trust applied to the Court of Protection in London at the end of the month to end life support treatment. It argued that RS had little hope of regaining anything more than minimal consciousness.

A judge ruled in the hospital's favor on Dec. 15, with Polish officials and some family members objecting to the decision. Their appeals did not succeed, however.

The organization Christian Concern, which helped fund the legal effort to have RS transferred to a willing hospital in Poland, said that RS had been deprived of fluids and nutrition since Jan. 13. This means he was starved for nearly two weeks before he died.

A statement by Christian Concern said,

“Following a courageous legal and diplomatic battle fought by members of his family and the Polish government to have RS repatriated to Poland, RS lost his life just as Poland was seeking to enforce a judgment of its courts to have him airlifted to a Polish hospital for further treatment and care.

Last night (Jan. 25), the family’s lawyers urgently wrote to the hospital’s lawyers, insisting that nutrition and fluids be reinstated in view of the diplomatic status granted by Poland and the decision of a Polish court. The hospital refused to re-commence life-sustaining treatment in the morning, and reported RS’s death later during the day.”

Christian Concern's press release also included a statement by RS's mother, who opposed her son's treatment by the UK:

“What the British authorities have done to my son is euthanasia by the back door. Depriving him of nutrition and hydration is functionally the same as giving him an injection to end his life, except that the entire process is longer, degrading and inhumane treatment.”

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