Court : House of Lords
Decided on : Mar-17-2005
lord bingham of cornhill my lords, 1. i have had the advantage of reading in draft the opinion of my noble and learned friend baroness hale of richmond. i am in complete agreement with it, and for the reasons she gives would allow the appeal and make the order which she proposes. lord steyn my lords, 2. i have read the opinion of my noble and learned friend baroness hale of richmond. i agree with it. i would also make the order which she proposes. lord phillips of worth matravers my lords, 3. i have had the advantage of reading in draft the opinion of my noble and learned friend baroness hale of richmond. for the reasons which she gives i also would allow the appeal and make the order which she proposes. baroness hale of richmond my lords, 4. the issue in this case is whether a patient detained for treatment under the mental health act 1983 can be treated against his will for any mental disorder from which he is suffering or only for the particular form of mental disorder from which he is classified as suffering for the purpose of the order or application authorising his detention. the history 5. the patient was convicted of manslaughter in 1987. at the time of his offence he was acutely mentally ill with symptoms of a florid psychotic illness. the court made a hospital order with a restriction order of indefinite duration under sections 37 and 41 of the 1983 act. he was classified in the order as suffering from mental illness, namely schizophrenia. he was first admitted to .....Tag this Judgment!
Court : House of Lords
Decided on : Jan-27-2005
lord nicholls of birkenhead my lords, 1. this appeal raises a question which has divided courts and commentators throughout the common law world. the division derives essentially from different perceptions of what constitutes injustice in a common form type of medical negligence case. some believe a remedy is essential and that a principled ground for providing an appropriate remedy can be found. others are not persuaded. i am in the former camp. 2. this is the type of case under consideration. a patient is suffering from cancer. his prospects are uncertain. he has a 45% chance of recovery. unfortunately his doctor negligently misdiagnoses his condition as benign. so the necessary treatment is delayed for months. as a result the patient's prospects of recovery become nil or almost nil. has the patient a claim for damages against the doctor? no, the house was told. the patient could recover damages if his initial prospects of recovery had been more than 50%. but because they were less than 50% he can recover nothing. 3. this surely cannot be the state of the law today. it would be irrational and indefensible. the loss of a 45% prospect of recovery is just as much a real loss for a patient as the loss of a 55% prospect of recovery. in both cases the doctor was in breach of his duty to his patient. in both cases the patient was worse off. he lost something of importance and value. but, it is said, in one case the patient has a remedy, in the other he does not. 4. this would make .....Tag this Judgment!