1)Tahani, aged 35, was admitted to hospital after taking an overdose of prescription drugs. The hospital wanted to pump Tahani’s stomach to save her life. However, when she was admitted, Tahani told the doctors that she had recently been diagnosed with a benign brain tumour and she was insistent that she just wanted to be made comfortable and that she did not want to live any longer. When Tahani was brought into hospital she was clutching a piece of paper which was dated two months prior to her hospital admission. The words on the paper read ‘I do not wish to be resuscitated under any circumstances. My life, my death, my choice.’ Tahani was in a weakened physical state, and despite her protests, doctors began to administer medications to start to reverse the effects of the overdose. Tahani then lost consciousness and the medical team proceeded with the stomach pump in order to save her life. Tahani, now physically recovered from the effects of the overdose, has sought advice on the legality of these treatments. She says that she was mentally competent at the time of her admission and that her oral and written refusals of treatment should have been respected.
2)In January and May 2021, Jason went to see his General Practitioner (GP), Dr Chidi, complaining of fatigue and severe back pain. Dr Chidi told Jason that he was probably just overweight, to stop fussing, exercise and eat more healthily. Jason booked another doctor’s appointment in June 2021 but this time saw a trainee GP. The trainee GP reviewed Jason and during the appointment went to discuss Jason’s symptoms with Dr Chidi. Dr Chidi said he was too busy to see Jason but advised the trainee GP to reiterate earlier advice about diet and exercise. The trainee GP followed Dr Chidi’s instructions and recommended that Jason should try light exercise, such as Tai Chi, and a vegan diet. It was on the fourth visit, in September 2021, when Jason collapsed in pain and with a fever in the GP’s surgery, that Dr Chidi referred him to hospital for further diagnostic tests. These tests revealed that Jason has lung cancer. Doctors at the hospital discovered that Jason had been a very heavy smoker until a few years ago and that both of his parents had died of lung cancer. Jason had not thought it worth mentioning these things to Dr Chidi. PTO Jason was advised to have part of the lung surgically removed. Jason agreed to the surgery, which has now been performed with reasonable care. However, the recovery process has caused him significant pain and discomfort and may require many months off work. Jason has been told by a private consultant, Mr Mendoza, that if the cancer had been discovered a year earlier, there would have been a 45 per cent chance of treatment being successful without the need for surgery. Jason has said he wishes to bring a negligence claim against his GP for the pain and suffering caused by what he regards as unnecessary surgery. Dr Chidi has sought legal advice on the matter.