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Clinical practice and the UK Human Rights Act 1998: protecting individual rights in the interest of the wider community

By Sarah Thomson, Damian Pitman and Elias Mossialos


Health professionals have expressed concern that the UK Human Rights Act 1988, which came into force in 2000, may threaten their autonomy in clinical practice/decisionmaking and resource allocation by health authorities. Although healthcare-related cases have so far been slow to emerge under the Act, it seems clear that in clinical practice the transition from duty to legal obligation will involve a degree of change for health professionals, in attitude if not in behaviour. With regard to resource allocation, it appears that the UK courts are likely to consider challenges to health authorities' decisions in a way that takes into account the need to set priorities, so long as these decisions do not discriminate unfairly and can be shown to have been made in the best interest of the wider community

Topics: RA Public aspects of medicine
Publisher: Royal College of Physicians
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.lse.ac.uk:21025
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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