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England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Wooder, R (on the application of) v Feggetter & Anor  EWCA Civ 554 (25th April, 2002)
Cite as:  3 WLR 591,  QB 219,  EWCA Civ 554
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COURT OF APPEAL (CIVIL DIVISION)
ON APPEAL FROM QUEEN’S BENCH DIVISION
Sir Richard Tucker (sitting as a deputy high court judge)
London, WC2A 2LL
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE BROOKE
LORD JUSTICE SEDLEY
| THE QUEEN|
On the application of JOHN WOODER
|DR GRAHAM FEGGETTER|
MENTAL HEALTH ACT COMMISSION
Smith Bernal Reporting Limited, 190 Fleet Street
London EC4A 2AG
Tel No: 020 7421 4040, Fax No: 020 7831 8838
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Nathalie Lieven (instructed by the Treasury Solicitor) for the Respondents
AS APPROVED BY THE COURT
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Brooke :
i) A declaration that fairness demands that a SOAD should provide him with written and adequate reasons when certifying under section 58 of the 1983 Act that he should be given medication against his will, and furthermore that this is a general requirement of fairness applicable to all section 58 decisions;
ii) A declaration that fairness requires that when a section 58 certificate is sought, the patient’s Responsible Medical Officer (“RMO”)’s report to the SOAD must be disclosed to the patient in order that the patient can address its contents when interviewed by the SOAD.
“Dr Feggetter has confirmed that he did receive a copy of your letter of the 15 October 2000 prior to his visit and that he carefully considered its content before reaching his decision. I understand that Dr Feggetter also spoke with you on the day of his visit. You will be aware that Dr Feggetter met with your client and that your client was able to state his views on the treatment that he has received in the past and on the treatment proposed by his RMO. Dr Feggetter also consulted with the RMO and the statutory consultees. The RMO presented Dr Feggetter with a 25-page document as a background to her decision to seek authority to treat your client.
Dr Feggetter accepted the view of the RMO and ward staff that your client did not have mental capacity to give or withhold consent to the proposed treatment. Dr Feggetter had found your client to lack insight into the nature of his illness and his potential for further violent behaviour, given the thought disorder and active delusion evident at interview, particularly on the subject of his index offence. The RMO and ward staff expressed concern about the possibility that, untreated, your client’s illness may pose a serious risk of violence and potential harm to others. Dr Feggetter accepted that there is an issue with side-effects that can be addressed by the care-team but that these issues in themselves do not outweigh the potential benefits of the treatment proposed, which he therefore concluded was reasonable.
If you wish to discuss this matter further I am happy to do so.”
“… [It] is well established that when a statute has conferred on any body the power to make decisions affecting individuals, the courts will not only require the procedure prescribed by he statute to be followed, but will readily imply so much and no more to be introduced by way of additional procedural safeguards as will ensure the attainment of fairness.”
Lord Justice Sedley:
The duty to give reasons
“….we did not hold … that the categories of case in which reasons must be given were closed. In our concluding summary we went no further than to hold that the class of apparently aberrant decisions did not include those which were challengeable by reference only to the reasons for them, such as a pure exercise of academic judgment.
No public lawyer supposes that the last word has yet been said on the duty to give reasons.
I consider it arguable … both that the categories derived from authority in [the HEFC case] are incomplete, and that that even within them there may be exercises of academic judgment which, though never patently aberrant, are nevertheless of sufficient importance to the individual to require that reasons be given for them.”
The vehicle of change
Lord Justice Potter: