A response to ‘The politics of the pandemic…’: COVID-vaccination of a disabled man

Let me be clear: I also do not know where the evidence points, because the evidence is not reliably available to examine. I do not know this because the supremacy of evidence-based medicine has been lost, which is personally devastating, as I wonder what will happen to evidence, debate, scientific method and freedom to explore uncertainty. 

Cross-examining a GP in a COVID-vaccination hearing

By Celia Kitzinger, 4th February 2022 The parents of a 20-year-old profoundly learning-disabled man (DC) asked the judge not to make the declaration sought by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that it was in their son’s best interests to receive COVID-19 vaccination.  They believe there is insufficient medical evidence to justify vaccinating him. The advice to vaccinate DCContinue reading “Cross-examining a GP in a COVID-vaccination hearing”

“Non-mainstream” treatments and CPR for a COVID-19 patient in intensive care

Counsel asked whether, if the court were of the view that CPR was in AB’s best interests, the treating team would then be willing to administer CPR.  This question was presumably designed to address a lack of clarity (quite common, in my experience, in Court of Protection cases) as to whether a proposed treatment is actually an available option for the court to consider.  The court cannot order doctors to give futile treatments – and CPR had been so described by Dr G.  

On not allowing the strong views of family members to prevail: A COVID-19 hearing

“Strongly held views by well-meaning and concerned family members should be taken into account but never permitted to prevail nor allowed to create avoidable delay. To do so would be to expose the vulnerable to the levels of risk I have identified, in the face of what remains an insidious and highly dangerous pandemic virus“ (Hayden J §26, SD v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea [2021] EWCOP 14)

The politics of the pandemic in the Court of Protection

Fears about government infringement of fundamental freedoms via compulsory vaccinations and vaccine passports has also fuelled public unrest internationally.Critics point to the weaponizing of fear to coerce population-wide vaccination and to the use of coercive psychological power to pit those who comply with mask-wearing against those who do not, and the vaccinated against the unvaccinated.

Disputes about COVID vaccination should be rapidly referred to the Court

“at First Avenue House – and I’ve checked with the senior judge – if an application comes in concerning a dispute about vaccination, one of our technical experts will deal with it, and it will be referred to a judge quickly.  The arrangements in the regional hub courts are similar – the court staff are alert to the need to progress vaccination applications quickly” (DJ Mullins)

Covid vaccination and a Christmas visit

Her mother very badly wants PH to come home for Christmas. She described how she and her daughter “love each other dearly” and “have joy and pleasure in the time we spend together”. Her daughter she said, “loves Christmas decorations and a tree” – and visible on screen, in her home behind her, was a decorated tree with multi-coloured lights.  

Naming a putative ‘expert’ in a COVID vaccination case: A letter to the judge

Videos posted by Dr Rogers online include assertions that masks are ineffective and that it is not “a good thing to do” to have a vaccine unless you are very elderly or vulnerable. 

The most complex Covid patient in the world: Planning for a re-hearing after a successful appeal

All this detailed planning – what needs to be provided by what deadline and by whom – is part of preparing for a full hearing, especially where (as here) matters are contested.  Hearings like these feel relatively pedestrian: they lack the intrinsic interest we all feel about the ethically weighty decisions made in final hearings. But they are the essential scaffolding upon which those final hearings depend.

A life-sustaining treatment decision from Hayden J in the Court of Appeal

Having witnessed a loving and dedicated family rally to their mother/sister’s cause at the previous hearings, I was not surprised to learn that they had brought an appeal against Hayden J’s order that it will not be in AH’s best interests, and not lawful, for ventilatory treatment to continue after 31st October 2021.