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Medical Law Notes

Medical Law

Approximately 1067 pages

Medical Law notes fully updated for recent exams at Oxford and Cambridge. These notes cover all the LLB medical law cases and so are perfect for anyone doing an LLB in the UK or a great supplement for those doing LLBs abroad, whether that be in Ireland, Hong Kong or Malaysia (University of London).

These were the best Medical Law notes the director of Oxbridge Notes (an Oxford law graduate) could find after combing through forty-eight LLB samples from outstanding law students with the highest ...

The following is a more accessible plain text extract of the PDF sample above, taken from our Medical Law Notes. Due to the challenges of extracting text from PDFs, it will have odd formatting:


  • R v Cambridge HA ex p B [1995] 2 All ER 129: B was diagnosed with leukaemia. Had two bouts of treatment but returned again. NHS doctors thought that was no longer appropriate to give treatment other than palliative care. Father sought second opinion of private doctor (USA) who was happy to treat, with the 10-20% chance of success. NHS refused to fund the 75,000 worth of treatment at the request of the father. B applied for JR. HA claimed it had made its decision with reference to (a) whether course of treatment was appropriate, and thought not in best interests (b) guidance given in respect of experimental treatment (c) whether the expenditure was an effective use of resources. Sir Bingham:

    • Difficult and agonising judgments have to be made as to how a limited budget is best allocated to the maximum advantage of the maximum number of patients. That is not a judgment which the court can make.

    • This case is an attempt, wholly understandable but none the less misguided, to involve the court in a field of activity where it is not fitted to make any decision favourable to the patient; claim dismissed.

  • R (Rogers) v West Sussex Primary Care Trust [2008] EWHC 2252 (Admin): Question as to whether policy on funding Herceptin treatment was unlawful. Administrative court held not on the basis that the decision was not irrational and no human rights were breached. Current policy was to fund treatment where referred by clinician only. Clarke MR:

    • A policy of withholding assistance save in unstated exceptional circumstances will be rational in the legal sense provided that it is possible to envisage, and the decision-maker does envisage, what such exceptional circumstances might be. If it is not possible to envisage then the policy will be in practice a complete refusal of assistance: and irrational because it is sought to be justified as a policy of exceptionality.

    • The non-medical personal situation of a particular patient cannot in these circumstances be relevant to the question whether Herceptin prescribed by the patient's clinician should be funded for the benefit of the patient. Where the clinical needs are equal, and resources are not an issue, discrimination between patients in the same eligible group cannot be justified on the basis of personal characteristics not based on healthcare.

    • The PCT has not put any clinical or medical evidence before the court to suggest any clinical distinction could be made. In these circumstances there is no rational basis for distinguishing between patients within the eligible group on the basis of exceptional clinical circumstances any more than on the basis of personal circumstances.

    • Once the PCT decided (as it did) that it would fund Herceptin for some patients and that cost was irrelevant, the only reasonable approach was to focus on the patient's clinical needs and fund patients within the eligible group who were properly prescribed Herceptin by their physician. This would not open the floodgates because only comparatively few satisfy the criteria so as to qualify for the eligible group.

  • R (Otley) v Barking & Dagenham NHS PCT [2007] EWHC 1927 (Admin): Patient had cancer in liver, which had been unresponsive to treatment. Found that a drug was licensed in the USA, which P managed to get hold of and fund several courses of treatment for herself. The outcome was positive, although evidence suggested it would not cure her. Request to continue funding the drug by the NHS was denied. Mitting J:

    • Q: whether or not the reasoning and decision of the Panel was rational and so lawful on Wednesburygrounds.

    • Reasoning was flawed on the following grounds:

      • Enquiry as to how often it had been prescribed before was irrelevant;

      • There were no other treatments available to P and did not take this into account;

      • On any view this case was an exceptional one;

      • Though resource allocation is important cannot be a decisive factor.

  • R (Ross) v West Sussex Primary Care Trust [2008] EWHC 2252 (Admin): Patient had cancer. He requested the use of a new drug (not yet assessed by NICE), which, if refused only left him with the option of palliative treatment. That is because he could not take the normal prescribed drug. Grenfell J:

    • Each PCT is entitled, provided it does so rationally, logically and lawfully, to set its own policy for making such difficult decisions. It is a matter for the PCT how it allocates its resources, so long as it does so reasonably, which will involve difficult and agonizing judgments as to how a limited budget is best allocated to the maximum advantage of the maximum number of patients.

    • The PCT has acted irrationally if it reached a conclusion which no reasonable authority could have made; the more substantial the interference with human rights, the more the court will require by way of justification be; the Courts must subject their decision to anxious scrutiny because the Claimant's life is at stake

    • It would make no sense for a PCT simply to ignore clinical efficacy and cost effectiveness once a patient comes within the category of exceptional circumstances. However, once an exceptional case is made out, particularly where matters of extending life are concerned, that logically and rationally a PCT should take a less restrictive approach to cost effectiveness than when considering the case for funding a drug.

    • Thought in this case the policy was irrational as the ‘exceptionality’ policy appeared to be one of no treatment.

  • R (Booker) v NHS Oldham [2010] EWHC 2593 (Admin): P was a ventilator dependent tetraplegic following a car crash. As a result of the settlement from those proceedings payments were made for the continuing care of P. As a result, the PCT decided that it would no longer cover the cost of care on the basis that she had no reasonable requirement by reason of the terms of the settlement. Issue as to whether breached duty to give care. Pelling J:

    • There is no clear distinction that can be drawn by a PCT in the position of...

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