Saturday, 8 October 2011

Tom Condliff: Allocation of Public Resources (14/7/11)

It will be interesting to hear the decision of the Appeal Judges in the sad case of Tom Condliff. In April the High Court refused to quash its decision not to provide the surgey he requires. Will this be overruled by the Appeal Court? Will the argument that the Staffordshire PCT, by not providing the necessary surgery, has breached Mr Condliff's right to respect for private and family life, hold up?

I posted on this case earlier this month (under the title 'Gastric Surgery: A Human Right'). Today, news has been released that Mr Condliff has lost his appeal against North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust. The Court of Appeal decided that the Primary Care Trust did NOT have an obligation under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights to consider social / non-clinical factors when deciding whether to grant a request for exceptional funding.

It is interesting to ask (given the trend that is emerging) whether this is another decision influenced by the general reluctance of the judiciary to intervene in cases which concern the allocation of limited public resources. Adam Wagner, of the UK Human Rights Blogs, certainly suggests so.
For a detailed discussion of the ruling please see: 'Public Purse stays closed for Morbidly Obese Man'

Heard on the news this evening that, despite the court rejecting Tom Condliff's appeal (see previous posts), the NHS IS now funding the necessary surgery. This is due, so it appears, to a recent change in his medical situation. In a statement, the PCT said: "The request and the new supporting medical evidence was thoroughly examined by our clinically led panel and Mr Condliff's clinical circumstances were found to be exceptional as outlined in our policy."

1 comment:

  1. Healthcare – Human Right or Human Need? Some people think that the right to health means that every aspect of healthcare should be covered as a matter of rights. But this attitude changes if we think about needs. Every person has health related needs but not every aspect of that need should be granted to every person as a matter of rights and entitlements. A large proportion of health-related needs are a will always remain the responsibility of the person. For example, diet, use of substances, levels of exercise have an impact on our health to a larger extent than health services. In addition many health-related needs are covered by private contracts, insurances and other instruments that do not always imply universal right that impose obligations on the states. This means that the only some of the health-related needs should be fulfilled as a matter of rights.