Doctors broke the law when they wanted to turn off the respirator that kept a man alive

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Two doctors broke the law when they concluded that keeping a man in his 70s alive with a respirator was not justifiable, according to the county doctor in Møre og Romsdal.

In November 2018, the family of an ALS-afflicted man from Ålesund received notice that the respirator that kept the man alive would be turned off seven days later. The decision was against the family’s wish, who believed that the ALS-afflicted man was still conscious and wanted to live.

The county doctor in Møre and Romsdal has assessed the case and concluded that two doctors broke the law, writes NRK.

The decision to terminate the life-prolonging treatment has been postponed for the time being. The man turned 76 earlier this year.

He has been reliant on a respirator to breathe since 2012. Doctors thought it was no longer medically or ethically justifiable to keep him alive after six years.

The report from the county doctor states that the doctors concluded several times in recent years that the time to end the treatment was approaching. The doctors are criticised for not having a close enough dialogue with the relatives about when the respirator should be turned off. The county doctor felt they should have got professionals from outside to reassess the case.

Professional director Torstein Hole at Helse Møre and Romsdal tells NRK that the health authority has learned that they must ensure even better communication processes with patients and relatives. The doctors do not want to comment on the case against the channel.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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