An ill man with a history of bowel problems who does not want to live with a stoma should be allowed to die, a judge has ruled.
The man, in his 30s, is in intensive care at Barnsley Hospital after major surgery, Mr Justice Hayden heard.
A stoma is an opening in the abdomen and a bag is attached to collect faeces or urine.
Doctors could lawfully stop providing nutrition and hydration by artificial means to the man, the judge said.
“This is not a case about choosing to die, it is about an adult’s capacity to shape and control the end of his life”, Mr Justice Hayden said.
“There is no doubt in my mind that he had come to a clear and entirely settled decision that he was not prepared to contemplate life with a stoma.”
The man, only referred to as MSP, had endured a “decade of serious ill health” and a “desperately reduced” quality of life, the judge said.
The hospital could move to palliative care, he added.
Specialists said the man has a 60% to 70% chance of surviving but would need a permanent stoma.
The judge was told the man had made a written “advanced decision” saying he would not want to live with that.
Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust had asked the Court of Protection to decide what is in the man’s best interests.
The man’s parents had told the court their son’s wishes should be respected.
Mr Justice Hayden held a virtual Court of Protection hearing on Monday.
The court rules on people who lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions.
The judge outlined his decision in a ruling published on Wednesday.