A NHS Foundation Trust v MC [2020] EWCOP 33

This was an application by an NHS Trust for the court’s consent for the harvesting of peripheral blood stem cells from P so they can be donated to her mother who has chronic leukaemia.

P is 18 years old and has long-standing learning and language difficulties. It was agreed by all parties that she lacked capacity to conduct these proceedings and to make decisions about the proposed procedure. The court had to decide (1) whether it is in P’s best interests for her stem cells to be harvested for the benefit of her mother, and (2) whether the court should consent to the procedure.

P lives at home with her parents, with whom she has a loving relationship. P’s mother was diagnosed with leukaemia several years ago and her life expectancy without a stem cell transplant is estimated to be about 12 months. Other family members have been screened as potential donors but P is the only one who is a match.

The court considered the potential risks to P and the fact that the procedure has no physical benefit for P herself, against the clear benefits, emotional, social and psychological, to P of her mother’s life being extended, and granted consent, stating that it is in P’s best interests as much as her mother’s.

The full judgement can be read here

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