New Podcast: Season 1 Episode 2 Assisted Reproduction

The full episode, hosted by Christopher Johnston KC featuring Claire Watson KC is available here.

In this episode, Chris and Claire discuss medical treatment decisions related to assisted reproduction, as discussed in chapter 11 of the new fourth edition of Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law.

Chris and Claire look at XX v Whittington Hospital NHS TrustWarren v Care Fertility Ltd and the recent case of Jennings v HFEA while discussing the difference between Californian surrogacy versus UK surrogacy, the interpretation of legislation by judges in line with article 8 of the Human Rights Act and the exporting and importing of gametes.

This podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcast.

New Podcast: Season 1 Episode 1 Deciding for Others – Children

The full episode, hosted by Christopher Johnston QC featuring Sophia Roper QC, is available here.

In this episode, Chris and Sophia discuss medical treatment decisions for minors, as discussed in chapter 4 of the new fourth edition of Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law. Chris and Sophia consider the process by which the courts, including the appellate courts, reach decisions in a wide range of difficult cases including that of Tafida Raqeeb, where the parental views prevailed over those of the hospital Trust.

Members of Serjeants’ Inn Chambers have represented parties in recent cases concerning the withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment from children, including the proceedings relating to Tafida Raqeeb, Charlie Gard, Alfie Evans and Archie Battersbee. 

This podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple Podcast.

Just launched: Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law podcast

Listen to the preview episode with the hosts here.

This podcast, hosted by Christopher Johnston QC and Sophia Roper QC, will feature different authors in each episode, looking further and discussing the various topics covered by the book.

The podcast will complement the textbook, Medical Treatment: Decisions and the Law, which is edited by Christopher and Sophia, with chapters authored by a team of 27 barristers at Serjeants’ Inn Chambers and published by Bloomsbury Professional in 2022. It places medical decision-making in its legal context and provides practical guidance on the most ethically challenging cases that face the courts. It explains how the Mental Capacity Act works in practice and how the courts and lawyers wrestle with and resolve problems relating to the very essence of life: what is life? what is an acceptable quality of life? what treatment is so burdensome that it should not be attempted? These questions are posed, not in the abstract but, in real – often desperate, often urgent – situations.

To find out more about their practices, please see our website here. To find out more about the book, please click here.

Duty of FULL disclosure when applying for a Reporting Restrictions Order

Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust v William Verden (By His Litigation Friend, The Official Solicitor) and anor. [2022] EWCOP 8 Feb 2022 (here)

Mrs Justice Arbuthnot has sent out a clear message to all parties in Court of Protection proceedings that, when applying for reporting restrictions, there is an expectation that a full account will be given to the judge of any media coverage that had already taken place.

Establishing the best interests of William Verden is an extremely challenging task from a clinical, ethical and legal standpoint.   In early March ’22 a judge of the Court of Protection (‘CoP’) will decide whether this young man with moderate to severe learning disability, autism and ADHD, whose associated behavioural disturbances make it difficult for him to tolerate invasive medical procedures, should have the opportunity to undergo a kidney transplant that has at best a 50% prospect of success.

What brought the parties into court on 8 February was the question of whether William’s anonymity should be preserved by the standard Transparency Order (perhaps better described as a Reporting Restrictions Order or ‘RRO’) that had been made by a judge, on the papers, when this serious medical treatment case was issued.

Procedurally unfair for a judge to visit P and not share the outcome with the parties say Court of Appeal

Re AH [2021] EWCA  1768, 25.11.2021


  1. The four adult children of AH appealed the order made on 3 September 2021 by Hayden J sitting in the Court of Protection[1], in which he declared that it was not in AH’s best interests for her to continue to receive life-sustaining treatment, namely, ventilatory treatment after 31 October 2021.
  2. The order was not to take effect until that date to enable AH’s children to make arrangements (including travel from abroad) to be with their mother at the time that ventilatory support was going to be withdrawn. This in itself was highly unusual (namely a declaration that permitted continuation of life-sustaining treatment for a further eight weeks, despite not being in AH’s best interests). However, Hayden J determined that AH herself would have wished to have her family present with her at the time that the ventilatory support was withdrawn.