Capacity for sex and marriage

By Claire Martin and Celia Kitzinger, 22nd January 2021 Back in October 2020, a hearing before Mr Justice Poole (COP 13551368) was adjourned, part-heard, after inadequate reports from the expert witness, Dr Quinn.  He reported that the person at the centre of the case (she’s “AG” in the judgment and we called her “Barbara” in our previous blog) lacked theContinue reading “Capacity for sex and marriage”

Advance decisions on intimacy

“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.”

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.

A Decision about Capacity

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.

Dementia, Cats and Football

Gerald “strongly believed he could manage at home with care visits, but preferred to stay in the current ‘so-so’ home if around-the-clock care was needed. If a care home was truly necessary, Gerald asked only that one capable of accommodating his cat could be found….”