Price v. the United Kingdom (Application no. 33394/96)

A selection of key paragraph(s) can be found below the document.


29. The Court observes that there are notes in the applicant’s admission records by a doctor and staff nurse expressing concern over the problems that were likely to be encountered during her detention, including reaching the bed and toilet, hygiene and fluid intake, and mobility if the battery of her wheelchair ran down. Such was the concern that the prison governor authorised staff to try and find the applicant a place in an outside hospital. In the event, however, they were unable to transfer her because she was not suffering from any particular medical complaint. By the time of her release the applicant had to be catheterised because the lack of fluid intake and problems in getting to the toilet had caused her to retain urine. She claims to have suffered health problems for ten weeks thereafter, but has supplied no medical evidence to support this.

30. There is no evidence in this case of any positive intention to humiliate or debase the applicant. However, the Court considers that to detain a severely disabled person [in this case a four-limb-deficient thalidomide victim with numerous heath problems including defective kidneys, see para 25] in conditions where she is dangerously cold, risks developing sores because her bed is too hard or unreachable, and is unable to go to the toilet or keep clean without the greatest of difficulty, constitutes degrading treatment contrary to Article 3 of the Convention. It therefore finds a violation of this provision in the present case.


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