The European Commission of Human Rights sitting in private on
18 July 1986, the following members being present:

                    MM. J.A. FROWEIN, Acting President
                        C.A. NØRGAARD
                        F. ERMACORA
                        G. JÖRUNDSSON
                        G. TENEKIDES
                        S. TRECHSEL
                        B. KIERNAN
                        A. WEITZEL
                        J.C. SOYER
                        H.G. SCHERMERS
                        H. DANELIUS
                        G. BATLINER
                        H. VANDENBERGHE
                    Sir Basil HALL

                    Mr. H.C. KRÜGER, Secretary to the Commission

Having regard to Art. 25 (Art. 25) of the Convention for the
Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;

Having regard to the application introduced on 3 May 1985 by
A.H. against the United Kingdom and registered on 10 May 1985
under file No. 11590/85;

Having regard to the report provided for in Rule 40 of the Rules of
Procedure of the Commission;

Having deliberated;

Decides as follows:


The applicant is a British and Italian citizen born in 1920, and
resident in Manchester.  She is represented by Messrs. Clifford Otten
& Co., solicitors.

The facts as submitted by the applicant may be summarised as follows.

The applicant's husband was employed as a part-time cleaner at
Manchester High School.  After suffering chest pains, he took time off
work but returned on 17 March 1981 to collect his wages.  At 16.10 hrs
he was discovered collapsed.  Several people, including teachers with
some first aid training saw him and decided he was dead.  The school
called the police who arrived on foot at 17.00 hrs.  The police called
an ambulance at 17.25 hrs and it took the applicant's husband to the
hospital nearby where he was pronounced dead by doctors at 18.05 hrs.
A post mortem conducted revealed that her husband had died of a
coronary occlusion.

The applicant was appalled by the attitude of the school in failing to
summon medical help immediately on finding her husband's body.  She
brought an action herself for negligence against the school and in an
order dated 3 December 1984, the County Court judge found in favour of
the defendants on the grounds that, even if the school had acted more
promptly, it would not have been possible to resuscitate the
applicant's husband.  Medical evidence indicated that death was
inevitable within 4-5 minutes of the seizure and could have only been
delayed by immediate, skilled cardiac resuscitation.  Therefore even
if the applicant's husband was not already dead when discovered it was
highly improbable that he could have been resuscitated by the staff
who were untrained in cardiac resuscitation.  The judge also found
that even if an ambulance had been summoned immediately, it would have
been too late.

The applicant was unable to appeal to the Court of Appeal due to lack
of financial means.  She had been refused legal aid.


The applicant complains that not all the necessary measures which
might have saved or prolonged her husband's life were taken. She finds
it unacceptable that lay people could presume to pronounce a man dead
and fail to call an ambulance immediately.  If medical help had been
rushed to her husband, the applicant feels there was a chance for him
to have been resuscitated, if only to allow him to die in dignity with
his family by his side, instead of left on the floor of the school for
almost two hours.  She complains that British law appears to condone
such negligence by not imposing a specific obligation to take prompt
emergency steps in such circumstances and by not awarding compensation
to the victims or their families.

The applicant accordingly invokes Articles 2, 6 and 13 (Art. 2,
art. 6, art. 13) of the Convention.


1.      The applicant complains that her husband did not receive the
prompt medical attention which may have increased his chances of

Article 2 (Art. 2) guarantees that everyone's right to life shall be
protected by law.

Insofar as the applicant complains of the conduct of the members of
staff of a private school, the Commission recalls that under
Article 25, para. 1 (Art. 25-1) of the Convention, the Commission may
only admit an application from a person, non-governmental organisation
or group of individuals, where the applicant alleges a violation by
one of the Contracting Parties of the rights and freedoms set out in
the Convention and where that Party has recognised this competence of
the Commission.  The Commission may not, therefore, admit applications
directed against private individuals.  In this respect the Commission
refers to its constant jurisprudence (see e.g. the decisions on the
admissibility of applications Nos. 172/56, Yearbook 1 pp. 211, 215,
and 3925/69, Collection of Decisions 32 pp. 56, 58).

It follows that this part of the application is incompatible ratione
personae with the Convention within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

However, the applicant also complains that English law fails to place
a general obligation on persons to take prompt medical action in
emergencies.  The Commission recalls that the medical evidence
established that the death was inevitable as a result of the massive
coronary damage, that the staff of the school, who were unskilled in
cardiac resuscitation, would have been unable to resuscitate him even
if they had tried and that even if an ambulance had been summoned it
could not have arrived in time.  In these tragic circumstances, the
existence of any express obligation to take prompt emergency action
would not have been of any avail to the applicant's husband.
Therefore, even assuming Article 2 (Art. 2) of the Convention can be
said to impose an obligation on States to protect individuals by such
legal measures, the Commission finds that an examination of this
complaint as it has been submitted does not disclose any appearance of
a violation of the above Article (Art. 2).

It follows that this part of the application is manifestly ill-founded
within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2 (Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

2.      The applicant also complains that her claim for compensation
against the school authorities was unsuccessful and that she has no
remedy.  She invokes Articles 6 and 13 (Art. 6, art. 13) of the

However, the Commission recalls that the applicant was able to bring
her claim before a county court, which had the power to grant damages
if she could show that the school authorities' negligence had
contributed to her husband's death.  The applicant therefore did have
access to court within the meaning of Article 6 (Art. 6).  The
Commission also finds in light of the above previous reasoning that no
separate issue arises under Article 13 (Art. 13).  Accordingly, an
examination of the facts as submitted by the applicant fails to
disclose the appearance of a violation of these Articles.  It follows
that as regards Article 6 (Art. 6), this part of the application is
manifestly ill-founded within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(Art. 27-2) of the Convention and that as regards Article 13
(Art. 13), this part of the application is (Art. 27-2) incompatible
ratione materiae within the meaning of Article 27 para. 2
(Art. 27-2) of the Convention.

For these reasons, the Commission


Secretary to the Commission          Acting President of the Commission

       (H.C. KRÜGER)                            (J.A. FROWEIN)