Bodily Integrity in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Montgomery v Lanarkshire Health Board
    • Supreme Court
    • 11 Mar 2015

    An adult person of sound mind is entitled to decide which, if any, of the available forms of treatment to undergo, and her consent must be obtained before treatment interfering with her bodily integrity is undertaken. The doctor is therefore under a duty to take reasonable care to ensure that the patient is aware of any material risks involved in any recommended treatment, and of any reasonable alternative or variant treatments.

  • Bici and Another v Ministry of Defence
    • Queen's Bench Division
    • 07 Abr 2004

    In trespass, any unlawful interference with the bodily integrity of the claimant will not be unlawful if it is justified, and it will be justified if the defendant can establish that the claimant's conduct was such that the defendant reasonably apprehended that he would be imminently attacked and used reasonable force to protect himself.

  • Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council v Municipal Mutual Insurance Ltd and another
    • Court of Appeal
    • 06 Feb 2006

    He relied on the miniscule changes which, as described above, preceded the genetic changes which gave rise, at a later date, to the existence of cancerous cells; in other words injury occurred at the point when the body's natural defence mechanisms were operating to destroy or neutralise the fibres as soon as they were inhaled. This was the time when, according to MMI, accidental injury occurred.

  • Airedale NHS Trust v Bland
    • House of Lords
    • 04 Feb 1993

    First, it is established that the principle of self-determination requires that respect must be given to the wishes of the patient, so that if an adult patient of sound mind refuses, however unreasonably, to consent to treatment or care by which his life would or might be prolonged, the doctors responsible for his care must give effect to his wishes, even though they do not consider it to be in his best interests to do so (see Schloendorff v. Society of New York Hospital 105 N.E. 92, 93, per Cardozo J. (1914); S. v. McC. (Orse S.) and M (D.S. Intervener); W v. W [1972] A.C. 24, 43, per Lord Reid; and Sidaway v. Board of Governors of the Bethlem Royal Hospital and the Maudsley Hospital [1985] A.C. 871, 882, per Lord Scarman).

    In my view, the correct answer to the present case depends on the extent of the right to continue lawfully to invade the bodily integrity of Anthony Bland without his consent. If in the circumstances they have no right to continue artificial feeding, they cannot be in breach of any duty by ceasing to provide such feeding.

    If I am right so far in my analysis, the critical decision to be made is whether it is in the best interests of Anthony Bland to continue the invasive medical care involved in artificial feeding. "Is it in Anthony Bland's best interests that he should die?" The latter question assumes that it is lawful to perpetuate the patient's life: but such perpetuation of life can only be achieved if it is lawful to continue to invade the bodily integrity of the patient by invasive medical care.

  • R (West) v Parole Board
    • Court of Appeal
    • 14 Nov 2002

    At first blush, therefore, and without the benefit of hearing full argument on the subject, I would expect to conclude that this was at least the determination of his civil rights and obligations and that Article 6(1) was thus engaged. The requirements of a fair hearing may differ according to the subject matter but they would include the right to be heard and to be represented by counsel, albeit not necessarily at public expense.

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Books & Journal Articles
  • Bodily Integrity, Embodiment, and the Regulation of Parental Choice
    • Núm. 44-4, Diciembre 2017
    • Journal of Law and Society
    In this article we develop a new model of bodily integrity that we designate ‘embodied integrity’. We deploy it to argue that non‐therapeutic interventions on children should be considered within a...
  • Table of Contents
    • Núm. 44-4, Diciembre 2017
    • Journal of Law and Society
  • Index
    • Núm. 44-4, Diciembre 2017
    • Journal of Law and Society
  • Justifying Exceptions to Proof of Causation in Tort Law
    • Núm. 78-5, Septiembre 2015
    • The Modern Law Review
    This article defends a set of exceptions to the general rule in tort law that a claimant must prove that a particular defendant's wrongful conduct was a cause of its injury on the balance of probab...
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Law Firm Commentaries
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