Intended for healthcare professionals


Judge rules that cancer patient should have lifesaving surgery

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 27 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2875
  1. Anne Gulland
  1. 1London

    Doctors will be allowed to carry out cancer surgery on a woman with learning disabilities against her wishes, a judge has ruled.

    The treatment was ordered by Nicholas Wall, president of the Family Division in the Court of Protection, after surgeons at the hospital where the woman was being treated applied for permission to force her to have surgery. They said that without a hysterectomy and removal of her ovaries and fallopian tubes the patient’s cancer of the uterus would eventually kill her.

    The woman, known as PS, has a phobia of hospitals and needles and has …

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