Refusal of obesity surgery challenged

APPEAL judges will today continue to consider the case of a 22-stone former policeman who claims a health authority's refusal to fund his obesity surgery is a breach of his human rights.


"Morbidly obese" grandfather Tom Condliff, of Talke, Staffordshire, who is 62 and 6ft 2in, says he needs stomach surgery to save his life. But the North Staffordshire Primary Care Trust (PCT) refuses to fund a laparoscopic gastric bypass operation.

In April, the High Court refused to quash its decision not to provide the surgery but Mr Condliff's lawyers are seeking to overturn its ruling in the Court of Appeal.

Richard Clayton QC, for Mr Condliff, argued yesterday a policy the authority had followed "expressly" required the PCT to "ignore" the "adverse effects on respect for his private and family life of not funding surgery" and the "potential beneficial effects on respect for his private and family life of surgery".

In written arguments presented to judges, he said those clauses breached Mr Condliff's legal "right to respect for private and family life".

Mr Clayton told Lord Justice Maurice Kay, Lady Justice Hallett and Lord Justice Toulson his client's health is deteriorating and doctors fear he could have less than a year to live.

Mr Condliff had developed diabetes and other "health disorders" as a result of "congenital problems" and a "severe needle phobia" meant his insulin had not been "delivered" as well as it might have been.

His client had developed a "gross appetite" and started to gorge himself following a course of insulin.

"His weight increased and his health problems multiplied," said Mr Clayton, in a written argument. "He tried all other relevant non-surgical interventions, including dietary and lifestyle and drug interventions, for his gain in weight but was not successful."

Judges are expected to reserve judgment today.

Source: Yorkshire Post
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