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Asylum-seeker refused medical treatment because of potential deportation

An asylum seeker from Jamaica is challenging a decision by the Home Office

Asylum seeker challenging Home Office decision

10 December 2003

An asylum seeker is challenging the Home Office's refusal to provide him with an assurance that he will be allowed to remain in this country to have medical treatment for his serious leg injuries.

The asylum seeker is currently appealing against the refusal of his asylum application. He is concerned for his safety if he returns to Jamaica, and his appeal is being supported by the British Police.

The consultant in charge of his medical treatment wants reassurance that his patient will remain in the country for 8 months following the operation, so that he can have the necessary care and possibly further surgery. Without this assurance, the consultant is unwilling to treat him.

Unfortunately the Home Office is not prepared to provide the necessary assurance. Bizarrely, they say they cannot consider providing this assurance until the asylum application, including all appeals, has failed.

The treatment was originally scheduled for 2002 but was cancelled because the necessary assurance could not be obtained. Ironically, if the surgery had gone ahead as originally planned, the treatment and rehabilitation would have finished by now.

In the meantime the condition of the asylum seeker's leg is deteriorating. He cannot walk without crutches now and risks suffering irreversible damage. He is in almost continual pain.
Sean Humber, partner in the Human Rights department of Leigh Day & Co. has now got involved. He claims that his client’s human rights are being violated as he is being subjected to unnecessary pain and suffering for which there is no justification.

Last month a legal challenge of the Home Office began and last week a judge reviewed the case and gave permission for the matter to proceed to a full hearing. Yesterday, in light of the Judge's comments, the Home Office confirmed that they were now prepared to reconsider the matter.

“The Home Office's failure to provide the necessary assurance to allow our client to be treated is simply callous and unjust,” adds Sean, “it has led to my client suffering unnecessary pain and the risk of permanent damage to his leg.”

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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Our Expertise

Human rights

Who worked on this case

Sean Humber

Specialist Area

  • Health
  • Medical treatment and prescribing decisions