2010 12 Health Care

Saturday 1 January 2011

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Re AVS; CS v A NHS Foundation Trust[2010] EWHC 2746 (COP) (Sir Nicholas Wall P): AVS suffered from CJD and at a previous hearing it had been declared that he lacked capacity to instruct solicitors or make medical decisions. The best interests question was: 'is it in AVS's bests interests that PPS treatment continues to be administered to him?'. The applicant wanted it to recommence but the Defendant Trust did not. It was determined that the applicant’s brother was not an appropriate next friend as the relationship between him and the clinicians had broken down completely and he lacked the necessary objectivity: the Official Solicitor would be invited to act. In the court's 'best interests' analysis embraces all the circumstances of the case and clinical opinion is not necessarily determinative. However, it is unlikely that the court would order a clinician to undertake a medical intervention which the clinician did not believe to be in the best interests of the patient. The court considered these proceedings would be doomed to failure without a clinical opinion favourable to the applicant's case. A doctor had been identified as willing to take over AVS's care and administration of PPS. The proceedings would be dismissed after 14 days unless a report from the doctor was filed to answer the Trust's reports. (click here for judgment)

Re SB [2010] COP 19/10/10 (Hogg J): SB lacked capacity to consent to potentially life-saving treatment for aplastic anaemia. The Court held it was lawful for the clinicians to administer the treatment and restrain her for that purpose; also, if the they decided that it was too distressing, they could decide to stop. (click here for press report)

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