Author Topic: Life's an experiment - COP takes judicial notice in mental capacity case  (Read 289 times)

Offline Simon Stylites

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http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCOP/2017/15.html
In this COP case, a man with severe CNS injuries and disability wanted to go to Belgrade for stem cell treatment. Whilst I wouldn't call it snake oil, it is largely unproven, lacking the kind of gold standard evidence usually required.
Baker J took account of the risks and uncertainty - interesting use of balance sheets to express the pros and cons - but eventually ruled, that subject to some conditions, he may go there for treatment.
Building on the leading cases of Wye Valley NHS Trust v Mr B [2015] EWCOP 60
and Aintree University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust v James and others [2013] UKSC 67 Baker J found (at 60) that the wishes of the applicant should be honoured -
 regardless of treatment outcome there may be psychological benefit to D arising from his having his wishes respected and knowing that what he sees as a potential treatment avenue has at least been tried. As Baroness Hale emphasised in the Aintree case, decision-makers must look at the patient's welfare in the widest sense, not just medical but social and psychological. If D is denied the opportunity to have stem cell treatment on the grounds that this is the safer option, ... his safety may be bought at too high a price in terms of his happiness and emotional welfare.

And, endorsing the words of Munby J that safety and certainty may be bought at too high a price, he declares - all life is an experiment
'Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better'
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Offline Captain Walker

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Re: Life's an experiment - COP takes judicial notice in mental capacity case
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2017, 01:27:48 AM »
Brilliant. Much appreciated. And thanks of giving a little intro to the case - thus avoiding me going "And?".

I'm reading the case carefully. It again shows that the law respects autonomy. Doctors and other experts are sometimes a bit too paternalistic in their advice or determinations.

Will come back to this case after a full study. Medical law is fascinating - innit?  :smiley:

Thanks for sharing. It is in giving that we receive.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 01:30:23 AM by Captain Walker »
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