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”

Elective caesarean in her best interests

Despite guidance concerning applications for court-sanctioned interventions in childbirth, it’s common for cases to come before the court (as here) where women are within 4 weeks of their expected delivery, and judges regularly express concern that they are having to make decisions about childbirth for women close to (or even after) their due dates. 

Delay is inimical to P’s welfare: Guidance on clinically-assisted nutrition and hydration for PDoC patients

e of poor practice, and active resistance from some quarters, the court could also make clear that continued provision of medical treatment when it is not in someone’s best interests is an assault, and that clinicians will not be able to rely on the defence in s.5 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 – meaning that there is a risk to them and to their organisations of claims for damages.

Chaos in court and incompetent decision-making: Visual monitoring Part 2

By Claire Martin, 17th June 2021 This hearing, on 6th and 7th May 2021 before HHJ Howells at Wrexham County and Family Court (COP 13575520 Re: B) was the second hearing I’ve observed concerning “David” – a 39-year-old man with a severe learning disability, poorly controlled epilepsy and congenital cerebral palsy with right-sided hemiplegia.  At the previous hearing, onContinue reading “Chaos in court and incompetent decision-making: Visual monitoring Part 2”

First Impressions of Hayden J in the Court of Protection

Emma Heron and Olwen Cockell, 21st May 2021 Editorial Introduction (Celia Kitzinger) Two relative novices to the Court of Protection had their first experience of a hearing before Mr Justice Hayden on 20thMay 2021.  They record their impressions here.   I also observed this hearing (COP 1275114):  a s.21A challenge on behalf of a man in his 40s withContinue reading “First Impressions of Hayden J in the Court of Protection”

Delay in a Section 21A Challenge to the Capacity Requirement

One obviously concerning aspect of this case is that Mr B’s (possibly unlawful) deprivation of liberty has been going on for a long time. I’m not sure when he moved into the care home, or at what point he started objecting to living there, but proceedings challenging his detention began more than a year ago, in January 2020.

Accountability for the rape of a vulnerable woman

“KB could not comprehend that a baby was growing inside of her. As a result of her learning difficulties, she was unable to verbalise beyond an occasional yes/no and it was deemed that she would not be able to undergo a vaginal birth. In his judgment, Mr Justice Poole said that the evidence shows that KB’s lack of understanding is “profound”

When Expert Evidence Fails

A hearing before Mr Justice Poole (COP 13551368) listed for three days (26-28 October 2020) was adjourned, only part-heard, because of inadequate reports from the expert witness. The expert witness, Dr Q, a consultant psychiatrist, gave evidence that the person at the centre of the case (let’s call her Barbara) lacked mental capacity to make any of the decisions before the court. His evidence simply collapsed under cross-examination.