A London NHS Foundation Trust v E [2018] EWHC 3367 (Fam) (22 November 2018)

A London NHS Trust sought a declaration that the amputation of the left leg through the knee was in E’s best interests.

P was 49 years old, had been a patient at a London NHS Trust since the end of August 2018 and he suffered from long-standing type II diabetes and cardiac failure. However, prior to his admission to hospital, he had not been diagnosed with a any mental disorder. E was suffering from a severely gangrenous left foot for which the recommended clinical treatment was amputation of the left leg.

E had declined the potentially life-saving surgery and the consultant liaison psychiatrist based at the mental health liaison team reported that E was unable to process and understand the information given to him about the difference between the leg injury which he had a few years ago and the current gangrenous leg as a consequence of his diabetes. She also reported that E did not understand that there was a very high risk of death without the operation and that E had told her that he did not wish to die.

After considering submissions very carefully and based on the evidence currently available, Mr Justice Francis allowed the application as E’s best interests were best served by proceeding with the proposed amputation.

The full judgment can be read here.

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