From Mental Health Law Online
OT, a nine-month-old baby, required continuous ventilation to live, and sometimes required further intensive medical treatment; the trust wanted to discontinue ventilation and treatment on the basis of the distressing and futile nature of the treatment; the parents wanted all steps to be taken to sustain life. (1) Although the application itself was made in an emergency as a result of a sudden deterioration in the child's condition, the parents had a fair opportunity to prepare their case both before and during the hearing; there was therefore no flaw in the process breaching Convention rights. (2) The provision or withdrawal of treatment for a child without parental consent, save in exceptional cases, is unlawful without a court declaration.* (3) Declarations were made permitting the clinicians to treat OT according to their clinical discretion (including not escalating treatment) and to cease ventilation immediately.
*The issue of Gillick competence was not relevant to this case.
Re OT (A Child) (2009) EWCA Civ 409 (unsuccessful appeal)
- Re OT (2009) EWHC 633 (Fam)
Before Parker J
Miss C Harry Thomas QC (instructed by Weightmans LLP) appeared on behalf of the Applicant
Mr N Bowen (instructed by Kaim Todner LLP) appeared on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. T
Miss C Wood (instructed by CAFCASS Legal) appeared on behalf of OT
Bailii - No transcript on Bailii at time of writing
Transcript - courtesy of parents' solicitors