Krzysztof Szczerski, a key aide to Polish President Andrzej Duda, will intervene with the British Ambassador to Poland in an attempt to help the family of a comatose Pole in a British hospital facing the end of life support.
“Acting on the authority of the Polish president, I will meet British Ambassador Anna Clunes to discuss the case of the Pole in a coma in a Plymouth hospital,” tweeted Krzysztof Szczerski on Sunday.
The middle-aged Polish man who has lived in England for over ten years was admitted to hospital in November having suffered cardiac arrest for approximately 45 minutes, during which, according to the hospital’s authorities, the individual suffered permanent brain damage.
The hospital therefore applied to court for permission to terminate his life support.
The man’s wife and children have agreed with the hospital’s decision. His wife believes that her husband would not want to remain alive in his current state, however, his mother and sister are opposed, arguing that as a practicing Catholic who believed in the right to life, he would not want his life to be terminated in such a manner. A short film has been posted on social media showing the men on the hospital bed with a women trying to comfort him in Polish.
To jest Sławek, który umiera z głodu i pragnienia w brytyjskim szpitalu.
Proszę o rozpowszechnianie. pic.twitter.com/5BroJ1xbQb
— Tomaszgm80 (@tomaszgm80) January 15, 2021
In mid-December, a court in England ruled that the decision to terminate life support is in accordance with the law and that the man should now be offered palliative care to limit his suffering. The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has rejected an appeal from the family, which means that the hospital has the right to stop feeding and hydrating the patient.
Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau stated on Polish public radio that his ministry had done everything it could to help the individual concerned. He emphasized that he sent a diplomatic note to the British foreign minister after Poland’s Health Minister Adam Niedzielski confirmed that Poland was willing to transport the man to Poland and offer him care in a Warsaw hospital.
According to Rau, his ministry has on three occasions supported the family’s appeal to the European court to allow artificial feeding and hydration. The Speaker of Poland’s Parliament Elżbieta Witek has also made a personal appeal to the British Speaker of the House of Commons.
“The situation we are facing is that we have not been able to persuade the British judiciary nor medical authorities that the welfare of the patient dictates that he should be treated in Poland and transported here. Their view, which runs counter to our moral and legal values, is that the patient will suffer more by being transported than by waiting to die in a British hospital given only palliative care,” stated Rau.