Article Text

Download PDFPDF

The implications of the David Glass case for future clinical practice in the UK
  1. A C Elias-Jones1,
  2. J Samanta2
  1. 1Department of Paediatrics, University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Leicester, UK
  2. 2Lecturer in Medical Law, De Montfort University, Leicester
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Alun Cameron Elias-Jones
    Department of Paediatrics, Leicester Royal Infirmary, Havelock Street, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK;


A recent decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR)1 raises issues of considerable importance to medical practitioners and paediatricians in particular. The case concerns the parental right to withhold consent to medical intervention that doctors believe to be necessary in a child’s best interests. The dramatic facts of this case (in which a boy’s family felt they had to fight for his life) has significant repercussions for clinical practice. This is discussed in the light of previous and recent cases that have involved babies, infants and children. The worrying trend to use the Courts to resolve these difficult clinical cases is discussed.

  • ECtHR, European Court of Human Rights
  • RCPCH, Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
  • legal framework
  • resuscitation
  • Courts

Statistics from


  • Competing interests: none declared

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.