HEAL UoS

Posts Tagged ‘health’

Joint ICJR/HEAL event, 21st October 2014: Dr Ummni Khan on ‘SM is sick but Kink is cool’

In human body, Meetings on October 13, 2014 at 9:00 am

Joint ICJR/HEAL event on Tuesday 21st October, at 1-3pm in bldg 34/rm 2003, on ‘SM is sick but Kink is cool – exploring ambivalent discourses that surround sadomasochism and health’, with Dr Ummni Khan, Associate Professor, Carleton University, Canada.

Abstract Where does sadomasochism (SM) lie on the spectrum between healthy and unhealthy? This presentation explores scientific, feminist, pop cultural and legal engagements with this question. From Krafft-Ebing’s 1886 tome Psychopathia Sexualis, to the current editions of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the scientific discourse generally accepts mild forms of SM as normal and natural, while more “risky” desires are considered a mental health issue. Feminists continue to debate whether SM – particularly when practiced by submissive women – is a patriarchy-induced infection or an embodied cathartic ritual. In films like Secretary and books like 50 Shades of Grey, pop culture has embraced mild kink as healing within otherwise heteronormative relationships, while often dismissing more hard-core desires as an effect of past trauma. Finally, the legal system sometimes characterizes SM as an unhealthy predilection, drawing explicitly from psychiatric diagnoses of disorder, as well as anti-SM feminist explanations of psychologically damaged women coerced into accepting (and even eroticizing) abuse. Yet a few other cases have found SM to be an acceptable and benign sexuality that, in and of itself, does not indicate criminal or pathological tendencies. Thus, a key goal of this presentation is to map out these disjointed and often contradictory discourses of SM’s status as (un)healthy.

All welcome. Event link available here. For more information please contact Dr David Gurnham D.Gurnham@soton.ac.uk.

This week’s meeting!

In 2011, Capacity, Meetings, Mental Health on September 26, 2011 at 8:45 am

On Wednesday 28 September, we’re meeting at 4pm in room 2007/4 (Law, Highfield) to discuss the ‘Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 – Consultation On Certification Of Incapacity For Medical Treatment, with a view to formulating and submitting a response on behalf of HEAL.

This consultation seeks views on four issues on Adults with Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000 Part 5 in relation to medical treatment. The issues are:  1.widening the range of institutions which can offer training; 2.whether dentists should be required to undertake training for this purpose; 3.whether multiple section 47 medical treatment certificates should be required in some circumstances; 4.and whether other medical practitioners not specified should be enabled to certify incapacity for medical treatment.

Case of the week: September 22, 2000

In Case of the week, Cases 2000, Death and dying on September 19, 2011 at 8:46 am

Re A (Children) EWCA Civ, Sept 22, 2000.  

The twins, named Jodie and Mary in the reports in order to preserve their anonymity, were born on August 8, 2000 in Manchester, after their parents travelled to the UK from Gozo, Malta (as it was known they were expecting conjoined twins and local resources were limited). They were joined at the lower abdomen/pelvis and – crucially – shared an aorta. Whilst Jodie was reported to have an ‘anatomically normal brain, heart, lungs and liver’, showing normal reactions to stimuli etc [para 6, CA transcript, below], Mary was reported to have a ‘primitive brain’, poorly functioning heart, and an absence of ‘functioning lung tissue’ [at 7], and was therefore dependent on Jodie for survival. The surgical team and hospital were in favour of surgical separation in order to maximise the chances of Jodie’s survival; the pressure placed on her heart in supporting both her and Mary was, according to expert evidence, highly likely to lead to the premature deaths of both children, whereas separation might enable Jodie to survive, albeit it that it would concurrently lead to Mary’s immediate death.

The parents disagreed, noting the influence of their devout religious faith (Roman Catholic) that it should be ‘God’s will’ to decide whether or not either or both of the children should survive. The hospital sought, and was granted, a declaration that the operation might go ahead – it was granted by Johnson J on 25 August 2000. The parents’ appeal was, a month later, dismissed by a unanimous Court of Appeal panel, comprised of Ward LJ, Brooke LJ and Robert Walker LJ. Unsurprisingly this case raised a plethora of legal and ethical/moral dilemmas for the court including – but not exhaustively – the role of parents in decision-making; questions over comparative ‘quality of life’ issues; welfare/best interests; murder, intention & the doctrine of necessity (in defence); role of religion; relevant aspects and intersections of Family Law and Criminal Law; & the sanctity of life (including some comments on the (then) forthcoming Human Rights Act 1998. However, the unanimity of the agreed outcome masks the divergent routes by which the individual judges arrived at their decisions.

For those who wish to read further, the case transcript is freely available to all via  BAILII:  http://www.bailii.org/ew/cases/EWCA/Civ/2000/254.html. Permission to appeal to the House of Lords was granted, but the parents chose not to appeal – nor was a direct application to Strasbourg (ie an alternative route to challenge the decision) undertaken.

Links

Coverage of the CA decision: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/937586.stm  

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2000/sep/28/4?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

Coverage of reactions to the decision: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/937377.stm

This decision is also reported at [2001] Fam 147, [2000] 4 All ER 961, [2001] 2 WLR 480, [2000] 3 FCR 577, [2001] 1 FLR 1, [2001] Fam Law 18, 57 BMLR 1; but access to these resources may be restricted (subscription required).

This time last month: Tom Condliff & his gastric band request

In 2011, NHS, Testing project on September 12, 2011 at 8:57 am

On 15 August 2011, the BBC reported that Tom Condliff’s renewed request for a ‘gastric band’ had been granted by North Staffs PCT. Mr Condliff had previously requested this surgery, but the PCT in question had turned down his request as his BMI (body mass index) fell below the required threshold set out in the relevant policy – his was reported to be 43, whereas the policy in question required a minimum BMI of 50 before this operation would be routinely provided (among other conditions, including the clinicians indicating it was necessary, and the consent of the patient in question).

Part of the PCT’s policy excluded consideration of social factors, meaning that non-medical/non-clinical matters could not be used in consideration of the ‘exceptionality’ of a given case. The PCT refused his ‘individual funding request’ (IFR), which Mr Condliff had made based on the ‘exceptional’ circumstances of his case; and thereafter he sought judicial review of the PCT’s decision.

His application – based on arguments around the applicability of Article 8 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (right to respect for private and family life), together with section 6 of the same Act (whereby it is unlawful for a public authority to act in a way which is incompatible with a Convention right) – failed in both the High Court on April 7, 2011, and in the Court of Appeal on July 27, 2011. 

He submitted a new IFR in August 2011, and it was reported (by the BBC, above) that he was informed soon after that the request and additional medical evidence brought him within the exceptional category as per the PCT’s policy.

Other links:

Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/jul/31/tom-condliff-gastric-band-appeal?INTCMP=SRCH

Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8703065/NHS-funds-weight-surgery-for-obese-man-despite-court-loss.html

Mills and Reeve (the N Staffs PCT’s solicitors) briefing on CA decision (27/07/11): http://www.mills-reeve.com/files/Publication/34b1ea56-ce83-4b47-a714-b7e2255cecd9/Preview/PublicationAttachment/a56af14a-d151-488f-96d9-bb64ab85d749/R_(Condliff)vNorth_Staffordshire_PCT_26_July%20_2011.pdf

Welcome to the HEAL UoS blog!

In Welcome on September 1, 2011 at 3:00 am

As it says in the ‘About‘ section, HEAL UoS ~ the Health Ethics and Law research group at the University of Southampton ~ was established in 2005 through the efforts of Prof. Jonathan Montgomery and Dr. Caroline Jones. We were delighted to have Prof. Hazel Biggs join us in 2009. Together the three of us run the network, arranging lunchtime seminars on topical subjects & occasional workshops, and liaising with colleagues and peers to discuss and coordinate responses to public consultations in the field of Health Care Ethics and Law, broadly conceived. We try to both foster and further develop collaborative relationships across the University and local NHS community.

This blog …

Our aim is to update this blog at least once weekly with posts under the historical ‘case of the week’ section (going on the dates of judgments – so we can’t promise a case every week!), policy developments and ‘in the news’ stories, both current and historical, and ‘events’ to keep you up-to-date with HEAL UoS’s activities. You can also follow us on Twitter:  @HEALUoS

nb. This blog does not contain legal advice, nor does it seek to provide such guidance – if you need legal advice and assistance please contact a qualified solicitor, and/or your union (if relevant) or local CAB office.