Legal & Ethical Policy Unit

The Legal & Ethical Policy Unit (LEPU) was founded in 2015 by the Faculty and the ICS as a sub-committee of the Joint Standards Committee.


  • Acting upon legal decisions that require ethical and clinical guidance for the specialty.
  • Responding to Section 28 coroner requests.
  • Producing publications for journals / newlsetters and policy documents on relevant issues.
  • Holding fact-finding colloquia in order to inform the above.
  • Ensuring the FICM, ICS and, where appropriate, its partners are kept abreast of all relevant developments.
  • It does not provide expert witnesses for the Court, nor can it comment on individual legal cases of our members or their Trusts.


Available here: Committees, Advisory Groups and Sub-Committee membership.

FICM and ICS Guidance on the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS)

Following the judgement from the Court of Appeal in the Ferreira v Coroner of Inner South London case regarding Deprivation of Liberty (DoLS) in the ICU, a summary statement has been prepared on behalf of the Faculty and Intensive Care Society. In May 2017, the Supreme Court refused permission to the appellant to appeal in this case. 

FICM & ICS Guidance on MCA and DoLS   

The judgement pronounced that DoLS does not apply in the administration of life saving treatment, with the exception of very special circumstances. The FICM and ICS Legal and Ethical Policy Unit submitted a written intervention as part of the case and consider this a positive development for the management of DoLS within the critical care environment. A brief summary of the judgement can be found here: