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Cases involving limitations of treatment for severely handicapped infants are often seen as a challenge to current interpretations of the welfare principle by the courts. This article takes the four different stages of doctor-parent disagreement identified in Portsmouth NHS Trust v Wyatt as a starting point for arguing that these cases are misunderstood when they are viewed as straightforward applications of the welfare principle. Rather, they should more openly be conceptualised as cases which address and review limitations to treatments set by hospitals as part of their resource management tasks.
The Red Book is the acknowledged authority on practice and procedure