Serjeants’ Inn has a long-standing reputation for its members’ special expertise in inquests and inquiries. Barristers from the Serjeants’ Inn public law, police law, professional and regulatory law, and clinical negligence and healthcare teams regularly provide advice and represent clients at inquests and inquiries throughout England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Don’t ignore the Vice President’s Practice Guidance when a decision relates to the provision of life-sustaining treatment
GUP v EUP and UCLH NHS Foundation Trust  EWCOP (25 January 2024)
Cases involving the withdrawal or withholding of life sustaining treatment can be heartrending for all involved, whatever their role. Such cases will always be uniquely and exceptionally deeply harrowing for P’s family and loved ones.
For any person to become embroiled in conflict with professionals as your loved one is dying must add an unimaginable additional burden to one’s grief. That burden will be far heavier when that family member is also required to issue court proceedings in order to bring the case before a CoP judge, particularly if having to do so without the benefit of professional advice. For an inexperienced lay person filing in the necessary COP1 and COP3 and COP24 forms and navigating the procedural labyrinth of making an emergency CoP application, in order to get their case before a judge to be heard, is an enormous challenge.
In this latest serious medical treatment end of life case the Official Solicitor deprecated the family having been left to bring the case to court themselves. The Official Solicitor made an entreaty that all health providers involved in a dispute regarding potentially life prolonging treatment abide by the CoP Practice Guidance  EWCOP 2 and promptly bring the application themselves, rather than leaving unrepresented, inexperienced and often distressed family members (who will frequently not be eligible for public funding) to make their own application.
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Serjeants’ Inn is at the forefront of healthcare law. We have over 160 recommendations in Chambers & Partners and the Legal 500 for expertise in relevant fields including clinical negligence, professional discipline and regulatory law, Court of Protection and inquests and inquiries.
The fourth edition of Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, is edited by Christopher Johnston QC and Sophia Roper QC, written by members of Serjeants’ Inn and published by Bloomsbury Professional in 2022. This blog is part of an online accompaniment to the print edition and features updates to the text.
Serjeants’ Inn is rated as one of the best chambers for defendant police work in the UK. We act for most forces around the country together with a number of PCCs and other police bodies, handling nearly 2,000 police law matters over the last three years.