§ Lord Alton of Liverpool
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to change the law to permit the parents of conjoined twins to challenge before the House of Lords judicial decisions of a life-threatening nature affecting their children with which they disagree; and why, in the case of baby Mary, the Official Solicitor did not refer the case to the House of Lords. [HL4759]
§ The Lord Chancellor (Lord Irvine of Lairg)
No change in the law is required. In the case of the conjoined twins known as "Jodie" and "Mary", decided on appeal in the Court of Appeal, the parents were given permission for a further appeal to the House of Lords but chose not to exercise it. The Official Solicitor representing Mary was also given permission to appeal. All the arguments on behalf of Mary were advanced in the Court of Appeal, including the moral, ethical and legal arguments submitted by the Archbishop of Westminster and the Pro-Life Group. In deciding not to appeal to the House of 87WA Lords, the Official Solicitor took into account the prospects of success, the uniqueness of the case, and the parents' decision.