Law, Patient’s Rights and NHS Resource Allocation: Is Eurostar the Answer?
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Historically attempts to use the courts as a means of challenging decisions to refuse NHS resources have met with little success. However two recent developments, that of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the development of European Union law through the application of Article 49 of the EC Treaty have provided the prospect for a challenge to this position. This article examines the impact of a recent case that of Watts v Bedford PCT in which a woman sought to by-pass NHS waiting lists by seeking treatment in France and then claimed reimbursement of the cost of the operation and the possible impact of this case in the context of patients’s rights and resource allocation.