Experience of a new witness in the Court of Protection

Recently I was sworn in to give evidence in the Court of Protection as a witness of fact for the first time…. not intimidating…. attending the COP as a witness of fact was a valuable experience before being called in an expert capacity and helped to build my confidence in my skills in defending my opinion and how I can help court consider a patient’s neuropsychology needs. 

Family witnesses in court: Four reflections on Re AH (A Rehearing)

Suggesting that the family is lacking in objectivity because they are in some way psychologically compromised serves the purpose of undermining and discrediting their evidence.  This was not necessary to powerfully argue the Trust’s case that ongoing life-sustaining treatment is not in AH’s best interests. The medical evidence stood alone.

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. 

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. 

How long can you keep trying to rebut the presumption of capacity?

By Celia Kitzinger, 3rd December 2021 It’s a fundamental principle of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 that “A person must be assumed to have capacity unless it is established that he lacks capacity” (1(2)) Likewise, “A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely because he makes an unwise decision” (1(4)). TheContinue reading “How long can you keep trying to rebut the presumption of capacity?”

An urgent court-authorised Caesarean: Seeing behind a published judgment

I can see why planned care for someone in a highly distressed and deteriorating state is attractive on many fronts. However, like the Court, I really struggle with the sense that there seems to have been no attempt to engage openly and honestly with Miss K, at a time when she may have been better placed to consider her wishes and feelings in an inevitably harrowing situation. 

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”

Happy First Birthday to the Open Justice Court of Protection Project

Celia Kitzinger and Gill Loomes-Quinn, 15th June 2021 One year ago today, on 15th June 2020, we launched the Open Justice Court of Protection Project, a child of the pandemic.  It was born of our passionate belief that “publicity is the very soul of justice” at a time when it seemed that the public health emergencyContinue reading “Happy First Birthday to the Open Justice Court of Protection Project”

Evidence of risk of planned home birth

By James Walker, 11th June 2021 Other experts who have contributed to this Project’s discussion of the Court of Protection case of An Expectant Mother [2021] EWCOP 33 are not alone in the misunderstanding of the data surrounding home births. This is largely due to the fact that the presentation of the data is influencedContinue reading “Evidence of risk of planned home birth”

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.”