By Jenny Kitzinger, 22nd December 2021 The hearing I attended on 21st December 2021 before Ms Justice Russell was yet another case which underlines the dangers of not planning ahead for possible future loss of capacity. This is what can happen to any of us, at any time, if we are suddenly brain injured, whether fromContinue reading “Family dispute about life-sustaining treatment: A directions hearing”
By Celia Kitzinger, 9th November 2021 She’s in her eighties, with significant cognitive decline, and delirium secondary to numerous infections and “in all likelihood in the last weeks of her life,” said the judge. She lacks capacity to make her own decisions about who she has contact with. One of her daughters, Ann, and Ann’s daughter (P’sContinue reading “Navigating a family feud on P’s death-bed”
“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.”
“… 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.