The applicants’ baby had died shortly after birth in 1987. They complained about the medical care. The complaint was not investigated speedily by the authority, resulting in a criminal complaint becoming time barred after a conviction in 1994 was set aside.
Held: The state is required to seek to protect a person from death as a result of incompetent medical treatment or care by its effective operation of a system of professional and other regulation. Though the claim was admissible, the applicants’ rights had not been violated. The periods involved no extended or unreasonable delays, and the limitation period was not unreasonable, though ‘Article 2 . . enjoins the State not only to refrain from the ‘intentional’ taking of life, but also to safeguard the lives of those within its jurisdiction.’
When referring to the State’s obligations to protect life, the Court said: ‘Those principles apply in the public-health sphere too. The aforementioned positive obligations therefore require States to make regulations compelling hospitals, whether public or private, to adopt appropriate measures for the protection of their patients’ lives.’
32967/96,  ECHR 3
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms 1953 (1953 Cmd 8969) Art 25
Cited – Isiltan v Turkey ECHR 22-May-1995
(Commission) . .
Cited – Khan, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for Health CA 10-Oct-2003
The claimant’s child had died as a result of negligence in hospital. The parents had been told the result of police investigation and decision not to prosecute, and the hospital’s own investigation, but had not been sufficiently involved. There . .
Cited – Middleton, Regina (on the Application of) v Coroner for the Western District of Somerset HL 11-Mar-2004
The deceased had committed suicide in prison. His family felt that the risk should have been known to the prison authorities, and that they had failed to guard against that risk. The coroner had requested an explanatory note from the jury.
Cited – Goodson v HM Coroner for Bedfordshire and Luton Admn 17-Dec-2004
A patient had died in hospital following an operation. The NHS Trust submitted that ‘There is a real distinction between cases of medical negligence, which were specifically addressed as a discrete area in Calvelli, and cases of intentional killing . .
Cited – D, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 28-Apr-2005
D was undergoing trial for offences and was held in prison. He self-harmed repeatedly, and was recorded to require extra vigilance. He attempted to hang himself. Prison staff saved his life, but he was left paraplegic, and was then detained under . .
Cited – Plymouth City Council v HM Coroner for the County of Devon and Another Admn 27-May-2005
The local authority in whose care the deceased child had been held challenged a decision by the coroner not to limit his inquiry to the last few days of the child’s life. The coroner had decided that he had an obligation to conduct a wider enquiry . .
Cited – Takoushis, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for Inner North London and others CA 30-Nov-2005
Relatives sought judicial review of the coroner’s decision not to allow a jury, and against allowance of an expert witness. The deceased had been a mental patient but had been arrested with a view to being hospitalised. He was taken first to the . .
Cited – Hertfordshire Police v Van Colle; Smith v Chief Constable of Sussex Police HL 30-Jul-2008
Police Obligations to Witnesses is Limited
A prosecution witness was murdered by the accused shortly before his trial. The parents of the deceased alleged that the failure of the police to protect their son was a breach of article 2.
Held: The House was asked ‘If the police are alerted . .
Cited – Rabone and Another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation SC 8-Feb-2012
The claimant’s daughter had committed suicide whilst on home leave from a hospital where she had stayed as a voluntary patient with depression. Her admission had followed a suicide attempt. The hospital admitted negligence but denied that it owed . .
Cited – Birks, Regina (On the Application of) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis Admn 25-Sep-2014
The claimant police officer sought judicial review of a decision to continue his suspension. He had been investigated and cleared after a death in custody. He sought to join the Church of England Ministry and was offered a post. He was re-assured . .
Cited – Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis v DSD and Another SC 21-Feb-2018
Two claimants had each been sexually assaulted by a later notorious, multiple rapist. Each had made complaints to police about their assaults but said that no effective steps had been taken to investigate the serious complaints.
Held: The . .
Cited – Finucane, Re Application for Judicial Review SC 27-Feb-2019
(Northern Ireland) The deceased solicitor was murdered in his home in 1989, allegedly by loyalists. They had never been identified, though collusion between security forces and a loyalist paramilitary was established. The ECHR and a judge led . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Human Rights, Limitation
Updated: 16 January 2022; Ref: scu.167388