Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

The Leslie Burke Case


I just returned from the UK where I appeared on numerous BBC broadcasts and lectured throughout the country. As it turns out, one of the most important bioethics cases is about to be argued in the Court of Appeal there. Leslie Burke has a degenerating neurological disease that may eventually prevent him from swallowing. He is fully competent. He wants a feeding tube if and when. He sued for the right and won. But the General Medical Council--which sets standards of medical treatment in the UK--supported by the UK government, appealed, claiming that the decision of whether Burke lives or dies by dehydration belongs with doctors!

I had the honor of spending an hour with Leslie in his home. He is a terrific fellow, in good spirits, and determined that his human right to food and water be respected.

This case could not be more important. I plan to write and speak about it until he wins a final victory. More coming soon.

For those who are interested, here is Leslie's WEB site.


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