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
Date Written: December 20, 2011
A recent case from the English Court of Appeal (R (on the application of Condliff) v North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust  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: Suggested Citation