Court: NHS bosses change mind on operation for mentally-ill Sheffield man

Specialists have changed their minds and decided that they can operate on a mentally-ill Sheffield man who has cancer, a judge has been told.

Wednesday, 27th September 2017, 8:41 am
Updated Tuesday, 3rd October 2017, 2:26 pm
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Specialists have changed their minds and decided that they can operate on a mentally-ill Sheffield man who has cancer, a judge has been told.

Doctors at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust were initially proposing only palliative care, but now thought that they could save the man's life, Mr Justice Francis heard.

The judge approved a treatment plan for the man after analysing the case at a hearing in the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves are considered, in London on Tuesday.

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He was told that the man, who is in his 40s, had a range of mental health problems.

Mr Justice Francis said the man could not be identified.

He said bosses at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals had care responsibilities and had asked for a treatment plan to be approved.

The judge concluded that the man lacked the mental capacity to make decisions for himself.

He gave medics permission to sedate and restrain the man during preparation for surgery if necessary.

Lawyers representing the trust and the man told the judge that a treatment plan had been agreed.

Barrister Vikram Sachdeva QC represented the man and took instructions from staff at the Official Solicitor's office, who give help to people unable to manage their own affairs.

"This case has flipped from where palliative treatment only was being offered to where radical treatment, which is what you or I would be given, is being offered," Mr Sachdeva told Mr Justice Francis.

"We are content with the course of treatment that is being proposed."

Barrister Conrad Hallin, who led the trust's legal team, said doctors thought there was a 'realistic prospect' that surgery would succeed.

He told the judge that the man had a type of cancer which would not respond to chemotherapy.