An NHS Trust v D (Medical Treatment: Consent: Termination): FD 28 Nov 2003

The defendant had been admitted to hospital under the 1983 Act and found to be pregnant. The doctors sought an order permitting an abortion. An order had been made, but the parties invited the court to say whether a court order was required at all.
Held: Where there is any doubt as to either capacity or best interests, an application to the court should be made. The following circumstances would ordinarily warrant the making of an application: (i) a dispute as to capacity, or a realistic prospect that the patient will regain capacity ii) a lack of unanimity between the doctors (iii) the Abortion Act procedures were not followed (iv) the abortion was opposed by the patient, her family, or the father or (v) other exceptional circumstances.


Coleridge J


[2003] EWHC 2793 (Fam), [2004] 1 LR 1110




Abortion Act 1967


England and Wales


CitedIn re F (Mental Patient: Sterilisation) HL 4-May-1989
Where a patient lacks capacity, there is the power to provide him with whatever treatment or care is necessary in his own best interests. Medical treatment can be undertaken in an emergency even if, through a lack of capacity, no consent had been . .
CitedRe SG (adult mental patient: abortion) FD 1991
Her GP and a consultant gynaecologist had recommended a termination for a pregnant, severely mentally handicapped 26 year old woman. Following Re F, her father sought a formal declaration of the court was required before any termination.
Held: . .
CitedRe SS (an adult: medical treatment) 2002
The court considered a request for permission to abort the pregnancy of a woman receiving treatment as an in-patient at a mental hospital: ‘Pregnant patients in psychiatric hospital are not unusual. The issue of the termination of pregnancies in . .
CitedRe GF (medical treatment) FD 1992
It was not necessary for doctors to apply to the court for a declaration authorising a sterilisation procedure for an inpatient in a mental hospital, if two medical practitioners are satisfied that (1) the procedure is necessary for therapeutic . .
CitedAiredale NHS Trust v Bland HL 4-Feb-1993
Procedures on Withdrawal of Life Support Treatment
The patient had been severely injured in the Hillsborough disaster, and had come to be in a persistent vegetative state (PVS). The doctors sought permission to withdraw medical treatment. The Official Solicitor appealed against an order of the Court . .
CitedIn Re S (Adult Patient: Sterilisation) CA 26-May-2000
The court should decide what is in the best interests of a patient where she was unable to give consent herself. The test of whether what was proposed was within the range of what reasonable and competent medical practitioners might propose, got the . .
CitedIn Re S (Hospital Patient: Court’s Jurisdiction) CA 6-Mar-1995
The carer of S sought a declaration that S’s wife and son were not entitled to remove him to Norway.
Held: The court may try an issue as to the patient’s care as between rival claimants as carers. It should not tightly restrict list of carers . .

Cited by:

CitedBurke, Regina (on the Application of) v General Medical Council and others (Official Solicitor and others intervening) CA 28-Jul-2005
The claimant suffered a congenital degenerative brain condition inevitably resulting in a future need to receive nutrition and hydration by artificial means. He was concerned that a decision might be taken by medical practitioners responsible for . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 03 February 2022; Ref: scu.188330