Closed Hearings: Submission to the Rules Committee

It would be helpful for the Guidance to consider ways in which the taint of deception could be removed, as far as possible, from cases involving closed hearings and to recognise and seek to minimise the moral injury they can cause. 

Application to name a protected party in the context of ‘jigsaw identification’

Sometimes it’s impossible to report meaningfully on a case without conveying information that makes it “likely” that the person at the centre of the case can be identified.

Cancer treatment in the face of unknowns and expert disagreement

By Ruby Reed-Berendt, 18 October 2022 A man (MB) in his 30s has been in hospital (and deprived of his liberty) since May 2022 after his mental health deteriorated. Although there remains uncertainty as to the cause of his poor mental health, there is a working diagnosis of T-cell lymphoma of the nervous system. NewcastleContinue reading “Cancer treatment in the face of unknowns and expert disagreement”

Reflections on open justice and transparency in the light of Re A (Covert Medication: Closed Proceedings) [2022] EWCOP 44

What happened in this case strikes at the very heart of the work of the Open Justice Court of Protection Project.  It’s very unfortunate that the manner in which this case became public knowledge was via a blog post based on a misapprehension of the facts – necessitating a Statement correcting those facts.

Statement from the Open Justice Court of Protection Project concerning an inaccurate and misleading blog post

We will now investigate how it came about that an observer was admitted to a public hearing in which a salient (‘magnetic’) fact of the case was meticulously concealed (by order of the court), leading – surely inevitably – to inaccurate reporting.

Court-authorised caesarean section for a mother with sickle cell disease who wants her baby to “see her face first”

I was struck when RO said “I don’t want to kill my baby”. I was already feeling disappointed for RO throughout the hearing, but these words left me feeling extremely sad for her. Was she feeling like the clinicians involved in her care were viewing her as killing her baby? 

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”

After more than 4 months in hospital (for “assessment”), there’s a new placement and a transition plan for Mr M

By Celia Kitzinger, 19th July 2022 This was a short hearing in a long-running case – and if things go according to plan, it will have been the final hearing. There were two hearings in February 2022, the second of which approved Mr M’s transfer to hospital for what was projected to be an overnight stay.  At theContinue reading “After more than 4 months in hospital (for “assessment”), there’s a new placement and a transition plan for Mr M”

“Grave concerns”: Funding arrangements, capacity for sex, and a TZ-style care plan

By Celia Kitzinger, 13th July 2022 The protected party at the centre of this case (COP 13627568 before DJ Glassbrook sitting in Northampton on 8th July 2022[i]) was described as “ a 19-year-old lady with diagnoses including Mild Learning Disability. Mixed Disorders of Conduct and Emotion, and Reactive Attachment Disorder of childhood”.   Introducing the hearing for the benefitContinue reading ““Grave concerns”: Funding arrangements, capacity for sex, and a TZ-style care plan”

Trial of living at home – successful so far

By Celia Kitzinger, 9th July 2022 A woman in her nineties who’s been “trapped [in a care home] by some Kafkaesque nightmare” for more than a year, has finally returned home. The judge has yet to determine whether it’s in her best interests to stay there: this is a “trial at home” to see how it worksContinue reading “Trial of living at home – successful so far”