“It will all work out”: The limits of a positive attitude in the Court of Protection

We appreciate that it would be very difficult for clinicians and judges to take a path that would put EJ’s life at risk. Yet, the trauma of her autonomy being overruled, and the loss of trust in professionals and in her own agency are not insignificant considerations. 

Coercive and controlling behaviour continuing after brain injury: Matters of finance and contact

By Joanna Booth, 30th November 2022 The person at the centre of this case (PB) is a 65-old woman who had a brain haemorrhage in 2018. This was so severe that it left her with a lasting brain injury and significantly impaired cognitive functions and since leaving hospital she’s been looked after in a specialistContinue reading “Coercive and controlling behaviour continuing after brain injury: Matters of finance and contact”

A ‘hypothetical’ marriage and a snowball rolling downhill

There was a plan to provide sex and relationship education,  but the COVID-19 pandemic and a failure to locate educational providers intervened and so it was sometime later when an education programme to support capacity in relation to sex and marriage was completed. A newly appointed expert then assessed P again and said that P had still not gained capacity in these areas. 

Anorexia and refusing nutrition: An observer’s perspective on A Mental Health Trust v BG

By Charlotte Buck, 4th August 2022 This case concerned Anorexia and the refusal of clinically assisted nutrition and hydration (CANH) – another sad case brought before the Court of Protection for which the circumstances are all too familiar.  I have always been interested in complex medical-ethical cases and, having volunteered on hospital wards for six weeks myself,Continue reading “Anorexia and refusing nutrition: An observer’s perspective on A Mental Health Trust v BG”

Withdrawing treatment after brain-stem death: A case in the Family Division

Today I watched a hearing about whether or not a woman in her 40s is dead. She was declared dead at 11.45 on Thursday 10 March 2022, following brain stem death testing. The reason the doctors have continued to treat the patient and the reason the Trust has applied to court is that the family has opposed withdrawal of ventilation (and other treatments) and has asked for a private second opinion.    

Court-enforced amputation or patient autonomy?

At the end of the hearing, in her closing summary, Emma Sutton acknowledged that it was a “finely balanced” decision but came down on the side that amputation was NOT in her best interests – most especially as it went counter not only to her current wishes and feelings, but also to her clearly expressed capacitous decisions as recently as last year.  

Faith, Science and the objectivity of expert evidence

“If organisations like Christian Concern are willing to spend time and money on conducting their ‘pro-life’ campaigns via courtroom litigation, and can find experts willing to act for them, there may be very little the Court of Protection can do to prevent them.”

He’s Polish: Challenging reporting restrictions

By Celia Kitzinger, 1st April 2021 Previous blogs – and the mainstream media – have reported that RS ( the person at the centre of a ‘right to die’ case) was Polish, that the members of his family who wanted life-sustaining treatment to continue are Polish, and that the Polish government was seeking his returnContinue reading “He’s Polish: Challenging reporting restrictions”

Seeing is Believing? Patient Videos in Life-Sustaining Treatment Disputes

“The dispute about RS’s treatment spread well beyond his treating team and his family. It spilled out from the bedside to the courts and into the public domain and then back again through the legal system (including the Court of Protection, the Court of Appeal, and the European Court of Human Rights). There were many powerful forces at play, and a huge clash of religious and cultural values. The persuasive power of video was a crucial lightening rod in how the story played out.”

A mother abroad and a family dispute – Part 1

By Kristy Regan, 11th January 2021 At the third attempt, after a couple of false starts (a case made private at the last minute and an email request not replied to), I gained access to my first Court of Protection hearing: COP 13677853. This was a case at the Royal Courts of Justice before MrContinue reading “A mother abroad and a family dispute – Part 1”