Condliff V North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust: Can Human Rights Redress Inequities in United Kingdom and Australian Cost-Containment-Driven Health Care Reforms?

Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 19, pp. 255-271, 2011

17 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2011

See all articles by Thomas Alured Faunce

Thomas Alured Faunce

Australian National University

Ruth Townsend

ANU College of Law

Date Written: December 20, 2011

Abstract

A recent case from the English Court of Appeal (R (on the application of Condliff) v North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust [2011] EWCA Civ 910, concerning denial by a regional health care rationing committee of laparoscopic gastric bypass surgery for morbid obesity) demonstrates the problems of attempting to rely post hoc on human rights protections to ameliorate inequities in health care reforms that emphasise institutional budgets rather than universal access. This column analyses the complexities of such an approach in relation to recent policy debates and legislative reform of the health systems in the United Kingdom and Australia. Enforceable human rights, such as those available in the United Kingdom to the patient Tom Condliff, appear insufficient to adequately redress issues of inequity promoted by such “reforms”. Equity may fare even worse under Australian cost-containment health care reforms, given the absence of relevant enforceable human rights in that jurisdiction.

Keywords: health care, obesity, cost-effectiveness, human rights, right to health

JEL Classification: D51, D43, D42, D 45, D63, H41, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Faunce, Thomas Alured and Townsend, Ruth, Condliff V North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust: Can Human Rights Redress Inequities in United Kingdom and Australian Cost-Containment-Driven Health Care Reforms? (December 20, 2011). Journal of Law and Medicine, Vol. 19, pp. 255-271, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1975178

Thomas Alured Faunce (Contact Author)

Australian National University ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia
61 2 61253563 (Phone)

Ruth Townsend

ANU College of Law ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200
Australia

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