Conjoined Twins Case

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In the Court of Appeal decision of Re A (Conjoined Twins [2000]), Ward LJ proposed that necessity may be available depends on the unusual facts of the case. The question raised here was whether it was lawful to do surgery in order to separate conjoined twins that would end the life of one of them but would save the life of another. In order for Ward LJ to permit the operation it must be on the basis that it would not be lawful as the medical practitioners able to depend on defence of necessity. He stated a very narrow definition of when necessity could be available as such it is very impossible to safeguard the life of X without causing the death of Y. The presence of Y will no matter what will bring the demise of X within a short period of…show more content…
While the defence of necessity is frequently used to ensure medical experts saw to act to the greatest advantage of their patients, the defence of need has been denied in self-medication cases involving cannabis. This can be seen in the case of Quayle & Others where the defendants claimed that they smoked cannabis due to painful medical conditions in order to relieve their suffering and not for recreational purpose. A defence of necessity was recognized although the Court of Appeal rejected the appeals. The defendants looked for the defence of necessity when they were prosecuted under the Misuse of Drugs Act. They relied on by saying that smoking cannabis was a lesser evil than suffering the pain. However, the defence failed. Neither the defence of necessity nor duress of circumstances was established in such situations. Mance LJ stated in the judgement that the suggested defence of necessity on medical use for an individual basis was contradicting with the objective of law. The two reasons are the legislation does not condone such use even on medical practitioner’s prescription unless for medical research or other special purposes or except under a license or authority issued by him. Next, it would involve unqualified person prescribing cannabis to themselves as patients or assuming the role of unqualified doctors by acquiring, prescribing and supplying it to other
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