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.

Where P should live

“One of the most relevant and pleasing aspects of the hearings has been the evident attention paid to the involvement of P in proceedings. Although P did not attend any of these hearings, what did come across and was clearly conveyed was a real sense of P as an individual and what their views, wishes and feelings were/are in relation to the life-matters affecting them.”

Influencing ‘best interests’ decisions: An eloquent incapacitious P

“Many of us may be deemed by the courts to lack capacity to make key decisions about our own lives at a point where we believe ourselves entitled to make decisions for ourselves – indeed the very loss of insight that can come with brain injury may render us completely unable to recognise our own limitations. Like Mr G, we may fight (and lose) an argument that we are capacitous.”

Costs and benefits of acting as expert witness in the Court of Protection

By a Serious Brain Injury Case Manager, 13 October 2020 This tweet gave me reason to pause and reflect because it came on the back of a request by a lawyer to commission me, as a professional working in acquired brain injury, as an expert witness for the Court of Protection.  The vast majority ofContinue reading “Costs and benefits of acting as expert witness in the Court of Protection”

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….”