Judge permits doctors to operate on woman who denies she has cancer
Tuesday 16 October 2012
Doctors have been given permission to perform potentially life-saving cancer surgery on a woman who has a "delusional belief" she does not have the disease.
A judge at the Court of Protection in London ruled that the treatment would be lawful and in the best interests of the 61-year-old, who suffers from chronic schizophrenia.
Announcing his decision on the treatment of the patient, who is known only as K for legal reasons, Mr Justice Holman said: "She has cancer of the uterus. She could be cured by a potentially life-saving operation. She lacks the capacity to make an informed decision. She denies she has cancer at all and opposes, and is resistant to, the operation."
The judge added: "The lady's three adult sons all strongly desire that she should have the operation and feel that the potential benefits outweigh the risks."
The judge was ruling on an application brought under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by an NHS trust in the south of England, which is responsible for the woman's physical health care, for declarations setting out what treatment would be lawful in her case. The judge granted declarations to the trust, which also cannot be named, that the proposed surgery would be lawful.
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