Consent to Medical Treatment in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • Messier Dowty Ltd v Sabena SA
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 21 Feb 2000

    The deployment of negative declarations should be scrutinised and their use rejected where it would serve no useful purpose. However where a negative declaration would help to ensure that the aims of justice are achieved the courts should not be reluctant to grant such declarations. So in my judgment the development of the use of declaratory relief in relation to commercial disputes should not be constrained by artificial limits wrongly related to jurisdiction.

  • Re T (an Adult) (Consent to Medical Treatment)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 30 Jul 1992

    Doctors faced with a refusal of consent have to give very careful and detailed consideration to the patient's capacity to decide at the time when the decision was made. What matters is that the doctors should consider whether at that time he had a capacity which was commensurate with the gravity of the decision which he purported to make. The more serious the decision, the greater the capacity required.

  • 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).

    The doctor who is caring for such a patient cannot, in my opinion, be under an absolute obligation to prolong his life by any means available to him, regardless of the quality of the patient's life. As I see it, the doctor's decision whether or not to take any such step must (subject to his patient's ability to give or withhold his consent) be made in the best interests of the patient.

    Even so, where (for example) a patient is brought into hospital in such a condition that, without the benefit of a life support system, he will not continue to live, the decision has to be made whether or not to give him that benefit, if available. But if he neither recovers sufficiently to be taken off it nor dies, the question will ultimately arise whether he should be kept on it indefinitely.

  • Re C (Children)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 14 Abr 2016

    Far from being asked to confer a power on themselves, the High Court was being asked to use its inherent jurisdiction to limit, circumscribe or sanction the use of power which the local authority already has by virtue of section 33(3)(b) CA 1989.

  • Re J (A Minor)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 10 Jul 1992

    6. No minor of whatever age has power by refusing consent to treatment to override a consent to treatment by someone who has parental responsibility for the minor and a fortiori a consent by the court. Nevertheless such a refusal is a very important consideration in making clinical judgments and for parents and the court in deciding whether themselves to give consent. Its importance increases with the age and maturity of the minor.

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Legislation
  • Mental Health (Scotland) Act 2015
    • Scotland
    • 1 de Enero de 2015
    ...... to amend the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 in various respects; to make ... of this Act from a patient's responsible medical officer, and. . . (b) the Tribunal is required ... Subsection (3) above does not require the consent of the Scottish Ministers if the granting of the ......
  • The Abortion (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2020
    ...... “registered medical practitioner” means a fully registered person ...4 . PART 4 PART 4 . Places where treatment for terminations may be carried out . S-8 . ... (6) may be brought only by, or with the consent of, the Director of Public Prosecutions for ......
  • The Abortion (Northern Ireland) (No. 2) Regulations 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2020
    ...... “registered medical practitioner” means a fully registered person ...4 . PART 4 PART 4 . Places where treatment for terminations may be carried out . S-8 . ... (6) may be brought only by, or with the consent of, the Director of Public Prosecutions for ......
  • Coronavirus Act 2020
    • UK Non-devolved
    • 1 de Enero de 2020
    ...... Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, ...S-3 . Emergency arrangements concerning medical practitioners: Wales 3 Emergency arrangements ... of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) (Scotland) Act 2003 (asp 13), the Criminal ......
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Books & Journal Articles
  • Medical Treatment — Pragmatism and the Search for Principle
    • Núm. 56-6, Noviembre 1993
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... 2 Lord Donaldson MR was at pains to stress that, contrary to press reports, W consented both to the insertion and use of the tube and to the encasement (done to prevent her giving way to a compulsive wish to injure ......
  • Court‐Ordered Caesarian Sections: In Whose Interests?
    • Núm. 56-2, Marzo 1993
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... section and consequential treatment could lawfully be performed upon a pregnant woman despite her refusal of consent. The case arose when Mrs S was admitted to ...medical advisors, there was the gravest risk that ......
  • Religious Beliefs and Teenage Refusal of Medical Treatment
    • Núm. 62-4, Julio 1999
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... K,W and H (Minors) (Medical Treatment) [1993] 1 FLR 854; Re E (A Minor) (Wardship: Medical Treatment) [1993] 1 FLR 386; Re S (A Minor) (Consent To Medical Treatment) [1994] 2 FLR 1065; Re C (Detention: Medical Treatment) [1997] 2 FLR 180. 5 See G. Douglas ‘The Retreat from Gillick’ ......
  • Court‐Authorised Caesarean Sections — The End of a Trend?
    • Núm. 62-1, Enero 1999
    • The Modern Law Review
    ...... on a patient without the patient’s consent. Even though the facts of the various cases ...2 Re S (Adult: Refusal of Treatment) [1992] Fam 123. 3 See Re L (An Adult: ...4 Re MB (An Adult: Medical Treatment) [1997] 2 FCR 541. . The facts Ms MB, ......
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Law Firm Commentaries
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