Lord Burnett handed down Judgement at the RCJ on 10 June 2020 of the following case which is the latest in a line of authorities to explore the engagement of Article 2 at Inquests concerning medical care/treatment, reaffirming the point that such cases will not ordinarily trigger the need for an Article 2 inquest.
Lord Burnett handed down Judgement at the RCJ on 10 June 2020 of the following case which is the latest in a line of authorities to explore the engagement of Article 2 at Inquests concerning medical care/treatment. The case reaffirms the point that such cases will not ordinarily trigger the need for an Article 2 inquest.
Maguire, R (on the application of) v HM Senior Coroner for Blackpool & Fylde & Ors  EWCA Civ 738 (10 June 2020).
J was a vulnerable adult with complex needs and disabilities. She had been living in a residential care home since 1993 and was deprived of her liberty by way of a standard authorisation.
In late February 2017, J became increasingly ill and an ambulance was called. Paramedics advised conveyance to hospital but J refused to attend hospital. An OOHs GP was called who advised that if J would not co-operate she should stay in the care home and be monitored overnight. The following morning, J collapsed and was taken to hospital. She was found severely dehydrated, with kidney failure and metabolic acidosis. J sadly died on 22 February 2017.
At inquest, J’s family were critical of the care provided and stated they felt there should have been a protocol in place for conveying J to hospital even if she refused. At the end of the inquest evidence, HM Coroner determined that Article 2 was not engaged.
HM Coroner’s decision was challenged but the Divisional court rejected the challenge by upholding HM Coroner’s decision that he had correctly used the guidance in R. (Parkinson) v HM Senior Coroner for Kent  EWHC 1501 (Admin)  4 W.L.R. 106 and that Article 2 was not engaged.
The Divisional Court judgment was appealed on the basis that:
The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal and found:
The Court of Appeal judgment maintains the position that the engagement of the operational duty should occur rarely in ‘medical inquests’ and that a high threshold is set in that regard. It also clearly states that this threshold must be high for those residing in care homes who may receive potentially negligent medical treatment.
It also reaffirms that the state must effect a regulatory framework for the protection of patient’s lives and take preventative measures in the face of a real and immediate risk to life. The reference to ‘regulatory inspections’ poses the potential for there to be greater focus on CQC inspections at inquests especially in respect of Article 2 arguments.
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