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Human Rights: Diabetic fights for right to have gastric bypass operation

Tom Condliff has been told by his doctors that he will die unless he receives a gastric bypass operation soon, but his local health authority claims they cannot afford to fund the operation.

Mr Condliff will fight North Staffordshire primary care trust's decision at the court of appeals on 11 July and the result could have a huge impact for patients in similar situations across the country.

Mr Condliff, a former police officer, originally brought his case to the high court where Judge Waksman stated that primary care trusts need not take into account Article 8 of the Human Rights Act, the right to a private and family life, when making decisions about funding drugs and therapies.

But the court of appeal has allowed the case to be heard because of the importance its ruling could have for future cases.

Mr Condliff's lawyer Richard Clayton, who is an expert in human rights law, said: "This is excellent news. Unfortunately Mr Condliff's condition is deteriorating quickly and the court has expedited the hearing in recognition of this."

Critics of the case have complained that it should not be the taxpayer's responsibility to fund obese people's operations.

But 62-year-old Mr Condliff's obesity was caused by his diabetes medication and not overeating. Before taking the drugs, he weighed 15 stone but has piled on seven stone since.

He cannot understand why the trust is fighting his case. He said: "It's incredible the amount of resources it is putting in to fighting my case.

"Why don't they just pay for the operation?"

Related links:
Read more on this story (Guardian)
Read the articles of the Human Rights Act (FindLaw)
Find local specialist solicitors throughout the UK (FindLaw)