Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospital breached boy's human rights by treating him against his mother's wishes

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 18 March 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:661
  1. Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
  1. BMJ

    The human rights of a 12 year old boy with profound disabilities and his mother were violated when doctors overrode her wishes and gave him diamorphine, the European court of human rights ruledlast week.

    The unanimous ruling confirms that doctors cannot impose treatment on a child against a parent's wishes. If the parent refuses consent, the court's approval must be sought.

    Carol Glass told doctors she wanted her son David, who was in St Mary's Hospital in Portsmouthin 1998 with a respiratory tract infection, to be resuscitated if his heart stopped. But doctors put a “Do not resuscitate” order in his …

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