Medical Treatment in UK Law

Leading Cases
  • MM (Zimbabwe) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 13 Mar 2012

    The only cases I can foresee where the absence of adequate medical treatment in the country to which a person is to be deported will be relevant to Article 8, is where it is an additional factor to be weighed in the balance, with other factors which by themselves engage Article 8.

  • Re J (A Minor) (Wardship: Medical Treatment)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 19 Oct 1990

    This gives effect, as it should, to the fact that even very severely handicapped people find a quality of life rewarding which to the unhandicapped may seem manifestly intolerable. But in the end there will be cases in which the answer must be that it is not in the interests of the child to subject it to treatment which will cause increased suffering and produce no commensurate benefit, giving the fullest possible weight to the child's, and mankind's, desire to survive.

  • N v Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • House of Lords
    • 04 Jul 2007

    The essential distinction is not to be found in humanitarian differences. Rather it lies in recognising that article 3 does not require contracting states to undertake the obligation of providing aliens indefinitely with medical treatment lacking in their home countries. Article 3 imposes no such 'medical care' obligation on contracting states. This is so even where, in the absence of medical treatment, the life of the would-be immigrant will be significantly shortened.

  • Re L (Medical Treatment: Benefit)
    • Family Division
    • 22 Oct 2004

    There is a strong presumption in favour of preserving life, but not where treatment would be futile, and there is no obligation on the medical profession to give treatment which would be futile. I agree with Hedley J that the court should be focussing on best interests rather than the concept of intolerability although the latter may be encompassed within the former.

  • Re A (Medical Treatment: Male Sterilisation)
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 20 Dec 1999

    Pending the enactment of a check list or other statutory direction it seems to me that the first instance judge with the responsibility to make an evaluation of the best interests of a claimant lacking capacity should draw up a balance sheet. At the end of that exercise the judge should be better placed to strike a balance between the sum of the certain and possible gains against the sum of the certain and possible losses.

  • GS (India), EO (Ghana), GM (India), PL (Jamaica), BA (Ghana) & KK (DRC) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department
    • Court of Appeal (Civil Division)
    • 30 Jan 2015

    Secondly, where article 8 is engaged by other factors, the fact that the claimant is receiving medical treatment in this country which may not be available in the country of return may be a factor in the proportionality exercise; but that factor cannot be treated as by itself giving rise to a breach since that would contravene the "no obligation to treat" principle.

  • 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.

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