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Last Updated: Tuesday, 28 October, 2003, 23:00 GMT
Legal move to end activist's life
Thomas Hurndall before being injured
Mr Hurndall remains in a vegetative state since the April shooting
Doctors will begin legal moves to switch off the life support of a British peace campaigner shot by an Israeli soldier, a friend says.

Tom Hurndall, 22, was shot in the head while observing the Israeli army in April, leaving him in a permanent vegetative state.

Doctors will apply to the High Court in the next few weeks, said family friend Carl Arrindell.

Israel announced on Monday an investigation into the shooting.

Mr Hurndall was observing and recording a peace group and the activities of the Israeli army when he was hit on 11 April.

His campaign group, the International Solidarity Movement, said he was trying to protect women and children in the town of Rafah at the time.

Doctors expect him never to recover from the severe brain damage he suffered.

There is a question as to whether it is right to keep him like that for any protracted period of time
Carl Arrindell
Family friend
The former Manchester Metropolitan University student is in a deep coma in intensive care at the Royal Hospital for Neurodisability in Putney, south-west London.

Mr Arrindell said: "The specialists' conclusion is that he is in a vegetative state and the quality of life is so low there is a question as to whether it is right to keep him like that for any protracted period of time.

"The legal process does involve consulting with the family but does not require them to agree with the decision. The decision is made by the specialists."

Living will

He said the family had come to terms with his state over many months.

"They themselves accept that in Tom's own journals he made it clear if anything like this happened he would not want to be kept alive.

"They are grateful he made that statement and they regard it as a living will.

It is possible the family will "bring him home if a decision is finally agreed by the court," he added.

On Sunday the Israeli Judge Advocate General agreed to conduct a military police investigation into the shooting after a campaign by Mr Hurndall's parents.

Anthony and Jocelyn Hurndall from Tufnell Park, north London, claim a report from the Israeli Defence Force is inaccurate and a "rudimentary cover-up".

They have produced their own report which they say takes into account eyewitness statements, expert opinion, photographic and video evidence and interviews with Israeli Defence Force personnel.




SEE ALSO:
Shot activist's family fly to Israel
12 Apr 03  |  Manchester
Israeli troops 'wound Briton'
11 Apr 03  |  Middle East
Activist who died for conviction
17 Mar 03  |  Middle East


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