LEE MARTIN ISSUES LEGAL CHALLENGE AGAINST DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN RELATION TO COVID-19 VACCINE PRIORITY SCHEME
KRW LAW LLP (KRW) is instructed by Lee Martin. Lee lives Enniskillen. He has a rare medical condition known as Diploid-Triploid Mosaicia
“Diploid-triploid mosaicism (DSM) is a genetic condition caused by an abnormal number of chromosomes. Symptoms of this condition may include decreased muscle tone (hypotonia), slow growth, characteristic facial features, fusion or webbing between the fingers and/or toes (syndactyly), and unusual skin pigmentation. Intellectual disabilities may be present. DSM occurs when a person has some cells with three copies of each chromosome for a total of 69 chromosomes (triploid cells) and some cells with the usual 2 copies of each chromosome for a total of 46 chromosomes (diploid cells). Having two or more different cell types is called mosaicism. Diagnosis is made through a clinical exam and a skin biopsy. Treatment is focused on managing the symptoms.
Diploid-triploid mosaicism is very rare. Less than 40 cases have been reported in the literature. The exact number of people with this condition is unknown.”
Lee has complex health needs. He requires around the clock support with all aspects of daily living. He has a combined support package which is utilised for personal care, meal preparation, supervision, social stimulation and medication management. Lee’s parents provide a substantial element of support on an on-going basis. Lee’s health and well-being has deteriorated at a rapid pace. His family have been informed by medical professionals that he is now at the palliative care stage following a incidence of respiratory failure.
Lee’s mother received her Covid-19 vaccination after persistent appeals to get home carers vaccinated in line with care home staff/nurses. Lee has not been vaccinated. Lee and his family live with the constant fear that he will contract COVID-19 and die.
Under the existing Department of Health (DoH) Covid-19 Vaccination Programme Phased Plan Lee is classified as “extremely vulnerable” (as noted by his GP) and therefore in Group 4 on the Priority List in the Phased Plan.
Alongside other extremely vulnerable people, Lee has been placed below backroom healthcare staff who have been included in Group 2 against the Guidance of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI).
The Plan issued by the Department also fails to adopt the JCVI Guidance in respect of taking account of exceptional individual circumstances. The Western Trust have refused to vaccinate Lee based on the Plan.
Christopher Doran, KRW said,
“Today KRW has issued Pre-Action Proceedings against the DoH by way of a challenge to the Plan through a judicial review that the Plan is irrational, discriminatory, lacks transparency and fails to adopt key aspects of the JCVI Guidance.
Lee remains in the position that he has not been vaccinated. The Plan has failed him, breached his human rights and ultimately threatens his right to life. Key aspects of the Plan impede rather than advance the pandemic response.”