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JimLawyer, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 12054
Experience:  Senior Associate Solicitor
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I have a relative in hospital with COVID-19 and the doctors

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Hi I have a relative in hospital with COVID-19 and the doctors have withdrew her fluids and put her on morphine against our wishes, what are our rights?
JA: Where are you? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: liverpool
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: We have spoken to the doctor on the ward who says it is their decision not ours
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no

Hi, this is Jim, thank you for the question - I will do my best to resolve this quickly for you.

Sorry to hear of the issue.

The NHS Constitution says "you have the right to receive care & treatment that is appropriate to you, meets your needs & reflects your preferences",

and importantly:
"you have the right to drugs & treatments that have been recommended by NICE for use in the NHS, if your doctor says they are clinically appropriate for you".

The doctors owe your relative a duty of care and to act in their best interests, to keep them alive and to make sure they do not deteriorate.

If dissatisfied, patients can complain to the NHS - their GP or provider Trust. If dissatisfied with the outcome of the NHS complaint, they can then appeal to the Parliamentary Health & Social Care Ombudsman here:

Patients also have the right to compensation where they have been harmed by negligent treatment.

Patients can also exert pressure by referring the matter to their local Healthwatch - (patients consumer champions) / local press / local MP.

Your next step is to therefore raise a complaint to the NHS Trust where your relative it at the moment, then involve the Ombudsman if the hospital does not uphold your complaint.

There is a legal remedy available against the NHS Trust with it being a public body. You can issue "Judicial Review" proceedings which is where you involve the court, and a senior judge or panel of judges looks the legality of the NHS's decision. If the judge(s) find in your favour, they will make an order which is binding on the Trust and they are then forced to act.

The issue with judicial review is that the cases are quite complex, but as a result of that, a law firm can usually recover their legal costs from the NHS if they win the application. You should be able to have a no win no fee agreement with the law firm, to sue the NHS. Here are a few firms who specialise in this area :

I hope this helps and answers the question which is easy to understand - please feel free to ask me anything else. I will reply as soon as I can to help with any further queries.

Thanks for using our services and have a good day,

Customer: replied 18 days ago.
Can you contact me by telephone

Hi, I can’t take a call at the moment but other experts are free to contact you. If no one calls you then you will not be charged for it - an "authorisation" has been made for payment, that's all. However, the call request is open to all experts. If you would like to cancel the call and the charge, customer services can be contacted here:

I'm able to deal with the question with a written answer - the call is a premium service and another expert will take this up with you (I am unavailable for a call, sorry).
Many thanks

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