Considering the Boundaries of Decision-Making Authority: An NHS Trust v Y [2018] UKSC 46

June 2019, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 153–157

U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2019-99

Posted: 24 Jul 2019

See all articles by Bernadette Richards

Bernadette Richards

University of Adelaide - School of Law

Date Written: July 23, 2019

Abstract

The protection of vulnerable patients, consent to (or refusal of) medical treatment, the concept of best interests and definitions of futile treatment have all been extensively debated in the courts and addressed in relevant legislation. The only true clarity around any of these concepts is that they are complex and subject to individual interpretation, therefore it is unsurprising that they continue to present a challenge to the modern judiciary and legislature. A recent decision by the of the UK was called upon to consider, inter alia these concepts and others in the face of the challenging question of whether or not court guidance is always needed when loved ones and medical teams agree that it is in the best interests of a patient to withdraw and withhold artificial nutrition and hydration. The short answer? It’s complicated. The longer answer is considered below.

Keywords: decision-making, best interests, judicial process, withdrawl of treatment

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Richards, Bernadette, Considering the Boundaries of Decision-Making Authority: An NHS Trust v Y [2018] UKSC 46 (July 23, 2019). June 2019, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 153–157 , U. of Adelaide Law Research Paper No. 2019-99, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3424449

Bernadette Richards (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - School of Law ( email )

Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

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