You can turn off your husband’s life support, judge tells wife


The wife of a paralysed police officer has had her heartbreaking Christmas wish granted. The wife of former soldier Paul Briggs argued that she should be allowed to turn off her husband’s life support system after he suffered devastating brain damage in a motorcycle crash. While medics were fighting her wishes, Lindsey Briggs said she knew her husband would not want to live any longer in this condition.

Mr Briggs, who is in his early 40s, had been a very active man before his accident. A veteran of the Gulf War, he was serving as a police oficer with Merseyside force when he was injured in a motorbike crash.

His wie Lindsey bravely told Mr Justice Charles that he should be able to die. However, doctors told the judge to make his decision with caution. One specialist said there was still a chance that Mr Briggs could come round from what is now a minimally conscious state.


After examining both sides of the evidence, the judge announced his decision at the court of protection. Patients at the centre of such cases usually have their identity protected, but as the case has already been widely reported, the judge said Mr Briggs could be named.

Mr Briggs will now go into palliative care in a hospice. After the case, Mrs Briggs said it was the most dificult thing that she and her family had ever had to do. However, she expressed her gratitude to Mr Justice Charles, saying that he had shown compassion and understanding of what her husband’s wishes would have been were he able to express them.


She said she would be forever thankful to the judge for being able to put himself in her husband’s situation in order to make his ruling. Mr Briggs will leave behind Lindsey and his daughter Ella.