Innovative therapy and the law: the novel issues raised by the case of Charlie Gard

Bridgeman, Jo (2018) Innovative therapy and the law: the novel issues raised by the case of Charlie Gard. Journal of Professional Negligence, 34 (1). pp. 5-20. ISSN 1746-6709

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The application by Great Ormond Street Hospital to court in respect of the future medical treatment of Charlie Gard was novel in that the Trust sought not only a declaration that it was lawful and in Charlie’s best interests to withdraw ventilation but further that it was not in Charlie’s best interests to be administered with an innovative therapy which had the effect of preventing a doctor in another hospital from administering it to him. It is not uncommon for parents to seek for novel, innovative, pioneering, or experimental treatment to be given to a seriously ill child although, to date, there have been few cases on this issue before the courts. Whilst parents are given a large degree of freedom to raise their children as they consider appropriate, limits have to be imposed upon what parents can demand their children are subjected to. All courts, from the Family Division of the High Court through the domestic appeal courts to the European Court of Human Rights and back to the Family Division of the High Court, affirmed the application of the best interests principle in such cases. In this article it is argued that the law should set those limits not merely according to the best interests of the individual child but also by whether the therapy is supported by a reasonable and competent body of professional opinion and in accordance with good medical practice.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law > KD Law of the United Kingdom and Ireland > KD0051 England and Wales
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Jo Bridgeman
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2018 09:30
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2020 15:19

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