- ECHR Article 8 and the dignified treatment of the deceased (Brennan v Bradford MDC and Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust)
- What are the practical implications of this case?
- What was the background?
- What did the court decide?
- Case details
Private Client analysis: Ms Emily Whelan died on 8 November 2016. Family members brought a claim under Article 8 of the ECHR, the right to respect for family and private life, home and correspondence, as enshrined by section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA 1998). They contended that Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) had failed to freeze the body of Ms Whelan and thereby had caused or permitted it to become badly decomposed, and in doing so had failed to treat the body with dignity and respect. The court found that the Article 8 rights of the family members had been engaged—that by allowing Ms Whelan’s body to unnecessarily deteriorate those rights had been interfered with; that there was no justification for that interference; and that the family members were victims for the purposes of HRA 1998, s 7. The family members were granted declaratory relief and damages. Written by Adam Stewart-Wallace, barrister, at 10 Old Square.
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