UKCAF website

Go to content

Main menu:

Health authorities can ignore public opinion

Documents > Law

Judge's decision on Fluoridation Consultation announced in London
Health Authority was not required to defer to public opposition.
Doug Cross. Friday 11th February 2011


There has been some confusion over the hearing before Mr Justice Holman. It appears that its purpose was to decide whether Mrs Milner's petition should go forward for Judicial Review. The Judge has refused permission, on the grounds that no failure to implement the law correctly was involved in the SHA's decision to request Southern Water to fluoridate its product.

At the Royal Courts of Justice in London today, Mr Justice Edward Holman ruled that the the South Central Strategic Health Authority (SCSHA) acted in accordance with the regulations on public consultation over the proposed fluoridation scheme in Southampton, UK.

He ruled that if a SHA is satisfied that health arguments outweigh all other arguments against them (not only on health, but all other issues) it must then assess the extent of public support for the scheme.

But there is no obligation for the SHA to obtain a majority supporting vote from the people in order to impose fluoridation. It must only examine the weight of the arguments of the opposition before coming to its decision.

(In effect, because the legislation does not specify the procedure or criteria on which such a decision must be based, this implies that a SHA is a law unto itself, and cannot be challenged once it has made its decision. In the absence of such criteria, it is virtually impossible for objectors to show that the assessment has been made in an inadequate or unfair manner.)

So according to this judgment, ultimately British SHAs have the absolute power to order a water company to fluoridate its product, regardless of public opinion. Whilst many people will be disappointed at this decision, there remain many issues on which fluoridation can and will continue to be challenged in the Courts. The practice of adding fluoride to drinking water is enabled in law by the relevant Parliamentary legislation on fluoridation.

This case has established that SHAs - for the rest of their short existence, at least - have the power to instruct a water company to manufacture this product instead of 'water for human consumption'.

But neither a SHA or, indeed, the State itself, has the power to order the product to be administered to the public in a fashion that is virtually unavoidable, and with the intent to prevent a disease. That power is available only to licensed Health Professionals, and even then only on a one-to-one basis and with full consent of the patient.

Adding fluoride to the public water supply is therefore a clinical intervention. As such it would be in gross violation of medical law and clinical Codes of Practice.

So in summary, therefore, water companies can be ordered to make the product - but they cannot then supply it to the public!

And it is this argument that will undoubtedly now replace the entirely valid, but sadly peripheral scientific objections to this discredited practice. Already there is public despair at a ruling that appears to allow the State to dose the people with whatever substance may be in medical fashion, in arrogant disregard of the wishes of the people.

But this judgment does NOT endorse the continuation of the practice of water fluoridation. It merely establishes that the government has given a legitimate power to SHAs to order water suppliers to make a medicinal product. In does NOT permit the product to be used in the mass medication of the public.

The balance of public opinion around the world has already started to swing against water fluoridation, as witnessed by events in the USA, Canada and elsewhere in the past month. This form of State-sponsored clinical malpractice is rapidly coming to an end - this judgment merely ensures that far more pressure will now be exerted to force its long-overdue demise.

For a summary of the argument that fluoridation is clinical malpractice,
For a printable PDF version to submit to your local lawyers,
The ruling in detail is on this page - go to the document
embedded in the bottom of the page and click on 'Downloads';

Back to content | Back to main menu