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Permission needed for procedure due to concerns about man’s capacity to understand gangrene treatment 
A court-sanctioned amputation of a man’s lower leg proceeded successfully, the High Court has been told. 
The man, aged in his 80s, required the surgery due to suffering from gangrene in his lower leg as a result of peripheral arterial disease. His case recently came before Mr Justice Mark Heslin in the High Court’s wardship list. 
The judge said the man had been diagnosed with dementia and did not have the capacity to understand his condition or consider his treatment options. 
The hospital in which the man is an inpatient previously sought an order from the court allowing what it said was the necessary amputation of his lower leg. 
The court last month approved the necessary procedures, including the amputation of his leg above the knee. It also made orders sending out the court’s medical visitor to assess the man’s capacity to manage his person and property as part of the wardship process. 
A High Court wardship is designed to protect a person and their property when they lack the capacity to do so themselves. 
Mr Justice Heslin was in recent days informed that the surgery was successful and the man was recovering well. He would require ongoing care for the rest of his life, the judge was told. 
However, the court heard it had been discovered that the man has a life-threatening aneurysm. Due to his age and physical presentation, three clinicians agree it would be inappropriate and not in the patient’s best interests to surgically intervene. The judge said the clinicians believe palliative care should be administered in the event the aneurysm ruptures. 
The man’s case was adjourned. 
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