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Mother urges end of tube feeding so daughter can have ‘natural and dignified’ death

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A mother wants the High Court to make orders withdrawing tube feeding from her daughter, who has been in a persistent vegetative state for almost 10 years, to allow her die a “natural and dignified” death and cease a “miserable existence”.

Doctors agree the condition of the young woman, a ward of court aged in her 20s, is permanent, incurable and will not improve, High Court president Ms Justice Mary Irvine was told. She has no cerebral brain function, no capacity for awareness, no control over her body, spastic quadriplegia and suffers severe seizures.

The mother, who became upset at stages during her evidence, said her daughter had been full of life and laughter, very private about her body and would “absolutely hate” to be in the position she is.

While doctors say she does not feel pain, her body is clearly under great stress, her seizures are “horrendous” to watch, she makes screaming sounds resembling crying and her condition is deteriorating.

After her daughter suffered massive brain injury 10 years ago, doctors advised there was no hope of recovery but the mother decided at that time peg feeding should continue in the hope of some recovery and because she feared her daughter would “starve to death” if peg feeding was stopped.

She had read about people recovering from severe injury and hoped for “a miracle”.

“You learn very quickly we don’t live in Hollywood,” she said.

When her daughter marked another birthday four years ago and her friends had stopped coming to see her, she said: “It hit me she will never ever recover and I decided I would help her leave this miserable existence.”

She had not come to that decision lightly but considered the best thing for her daughter is to allow her a death that is “as peaceful as possible”.

“She has done her penance and is in limbo, she’s neither in this world or the next. I believe her soul is gone and it is just her body that is being kept alive. The spark is gone.”

She was also concerned doctors say her daughter will soon need surgery to address issues arising from skin tightening which would be invasive and would not change her underlying condition.

During a conversation years ago with her then-teenage daughter following several suicides of young people, the mother told her, due to concerns the girl might be glamourising suicide, that some who attempt suicide do not die but are left severely incapacitated.

Her daughter replied she would never want to be brain-damaged in a wheelchair or in nappies and, if that happened to her, to let her die.

The mother said, while she did ask 10 years ago that the feeding tube not be withdrawn, she felt she had insufficient information at the time and there was insufficient discussion with her, including about pain management. The hospital was very good but she felt people “pussyfooted around” and did not set out the “bare facts” and what the future would hold.

In evidence, a sister of the young woman also fully supported the orders.

Her younger sister had been “full of life”, had “the biggest smile” and was a great singer, she told the judge. She is now living a “horrible” existence and it was “heartbreaking” to see her enduring “horrific and terrifying” seizures. “She has no dignity, none whatsoever.”

Living through the Covid-19 pandemic has given more perspective on the true nature of her sister’s plight, she said. “We feel bad because we can’t move 5km but she can’t move at all.”

Ms Justice Irvine, who manages the High Court wardship list, has to decide, on foot of the evidence and the law, whether or not to make the orders.

Various family members are in court. The woman’s birth father has had little involvement in her life but her stepfather of many years supports the application.

Opening the application, Andrew Fitzpatrick SC, with Patricia Hill BL, said this was a case no mother would ever want to bring but his client had come to court to assert her daughter’s constitutional rights.

The daughter’s career and travel hopes were all sadly eliminated by an incident in summer 2011, he said. The mother, who still does not know precisely what happened, got a phone call saying her daughter had had a fit and was on her way to hospital.

The girl had suffered a very serious heart attack, her heart stopped for 45 minutes, she had further heart attacks and was in intensive care for 22 days on a ventilator. She was not expected to survive and the family agreed the ventilator should be switched off. However, she began to breathe on her own and was fed by tube on consent of her family, a situation that continues.

The Constitution recognises the sanctity of life and the presumption of taking all steps to prolong life, he said. However, there is no “absolute” duty to preserve life at all costs and her family wanted her to be allowed a natural and dignified death.

The hearing continues on Thursday.

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IHG to open new hotel in Brussels (BE)

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IHG Hotels & Resorts (IHG) announced the signing of voco Brussels City North, marking entry into a new market. Due to open in autumn 2023, the 92-key voco Brussels City North property will be operated by Prem Group, a strong partner for IHG in the region. The state-of-the-art hotel will feature a restaurant and conference centre and will adjoin the Innovation Centre, which is already open on the site, to create a hub for hospitality innovation and a truly stimulating environment.

 

Located to the north of the city, the hotel will feature a striking 50-metre tower with huge glass windows providing panoramic views of the Brussels skyline. The site itself will be Europe’s largest experimental lab for creating ideas and a vision for the future. In line with voco hotels ethos, voco Brussels City North will stand out from the crowd and give guests a different choice.

 

Willemijn Geels, VP Development Europe, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said: “I’m delighted to announce that we are partnering with Living Tomorrow to bring voco hotels to Belgium. We know that Brussels is a strong market for branded properties, and we are confident that the voco hotels’ brand will fit well with the goal of creating a truly innovative hub on this unique site.”

 

Yin Oei, CEO, Living Tomorrow, said: “Living Tomorrow is focused on driving the future and we’re excited to partner with IHG to develop this exciting hotel – the first voco in Belgium. The values of voco hotels fit well with our desire to innovate and push boundaries and we know that the strength of the IHG systems will provide a stable platform from which to innovate.”

 

 

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Mitheridge and London Green unveil plans for Lambeth mix-use scheme (GB)

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Mitheridge Capital Management and London Green have unveiled plans for a residential-led, mixed-use development in Lambeth, south London. The project will make use of a former industrial site in Loughborough Junction, Lambeth, while also protecting the adjacent intersecting Victorian railway viaducts which remain a rich heritage asset.

 

Managing Partner of Mitheridge William Yerburgh said: “London desperately needs more homes. We believe strongly in an approach to housing provision that is affordable but also enhances the character and vibrancy of local communities. Our partnership with London Green will show that new housing provision can deliver for everyone.”

 

Daniel Rastegar, Investment Director at Mitheridge commented: “We are excited to work with London Green to deliver a scheme that will contribute positively to this area of Lambeth, both by providing highly sustainable, high-quality homes as well as new industrial space for SMEs.”

 

Harry Green, Director at London Green added: “This represents yet another opportunity to develop an underutilised site into a mixed community of sustainable homes and workplaces. We look forward to working with best-in-class consultants and contractors to deliver the vision that we share with Mitheridge Capital Management”.

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IIProp grows its presence in Spain

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IIProp (International Industrial Properties) has successfully delivered the initial phase of its built-to-suit project in the Spanish city of Murcia. The joint venture has also launched a new development project at a prime location in Nadarzyn, Warsaw South, Poland. The scheme is located in Murcia’s San Andres industrial park and offers 22,346m². The project is set to add another building of over 23,000m², bringing the total development area to 46,600m² GLA. Construction of a 23,000m² follow-on component is under way and scheduled for completion in January 2023. The project marks an important milestone for the IIProp’s expansion in Spain, where the platform has secured pipeline for development of some 63,000m² GLA in the Murcia and Barcelona regions. The development comes with excellent connectivity and visibility as it sits alongside the A7 highway, part of the Mediterranean transit corridor that links Spanish and Portuguese ports with mainland Europe. The project is set to obtain “Very Good” BREEAM certificate, which will be supported by green solutions such as solar panels, charging stations for electric cars, power sockets for electric bicycles and scooters as well as bicycle parking space and a bee shelter.

 

Nebil Senman, Managing Partner at Griffin Capital Partners, said: “The logistics market in Europe experienced an unprecedented growth during the pandemic and despite the geopolitical turmoil the tenant demand remains strong. We selectively are developing projects in Murcia and Warsaw with highest ESG standards and securing highest tenant covenants to fulfill core investor’s requirements. We plan to continue to build up carefully our European logistics footprint by selectively adding projects in core European markets as well as through converting our well-positioned land bank into standing assets.”

 

Maciej Dyjas, Managing Partner at Griffin Capital Partners, commented: “The projects in Murcia and Warsaw are another success stories in our strategic partnership with Panattoni. We continue to screen new European markets for entry and already begun working on potential development projects in countries like France, Italy, and Austria. In parallel, the IIProp’s pipeline stands at ca. 430,000m² GLA, despite latest disposals completed in Germany.

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