“When I asked for access to observe a hearing in the Court of Protection, I had no idea how close to home the key issue would turn out to be. …. The person at the centre of the case, AI, has end stage kidney disease. .. he’ll probably refuse to come back in for dialysis. This could mean that he dies…. My father died just over a year ago (in his mid 70s) because he, too, refused dialysis.”
“the proposal gives rise to strong feelings [and] poses challenges to conceptions of what we are willing to empower people to decide about in advance, and about how expressions of sexual preference could be ‘housed’ within such decisions where they may clash with the views of others around the person about what they consider to be acceptable.”
“Nine public observers attended (via MS Teams) an all-day hearing in the Court of Protection before Mr Justice Poole (COP 1353507, 30 October 2020) concerning whether or not life-sustaining treatment should be continued…”
“… I remain hopeful that by highlighting cases such as Paul’s and learning from lived experiences of psychiatric survivors, we can make small steps that will lead to better experiences of treatment for those in mental health crisis.”
“Many of us may be deemed by the courts to lack capacity to make key decisions about our own lives at a point where we believe ourselves entitled to make decisions for ourselves – indeed the very loss of insight that can come with brain injury may render us completely unable to recognise our own limitations. Like Mr G, we may fight (and lose) an argument that we are capacitous.”
Ruth was not in court. She was represented in court by a barrister appointed and instructed via the Official Solicitor. Her barrister reported that “Ruth is very clear in her own mind that she does not lack capacity to make these decisions”. But he did not argue on her behalf that the court should accept that she has capacity.
“Yesterday I bore witness. I cannot think of an opening statement to articulate the experience better…”