“I am fearful for my daughter’s life”: Serious medical treatment in a contentious case

By Celia Kitzinger, 23rd August 2022 A woman in her 30s has been in hospital for more than three months – for the last four days in the High Dependency Unit, where she is intubated and mechanically ventilated.  She has “a hugely complicated medical background”, including a rare inherited disease, and a diagnosis of “autistic spectrum disorder”.  Continue reading ““I am fearful for my daughter’s life”: Serious medical treatment in a contentious case”

Mental capacity assessment and transition plan for a man with schizophrenia and ulcerated legs

By Diana Sant Angelo, 4th July 2022 I am a Best Interests Assessor and I wanted to observe a hearing in the Court of Protection because I have always been interested in law – and now as a BIA, I am working in the overlap between the care and legal systems.  On a more personalContinue reading “Mental capacity assessment and transition plan for a man with schizophrenia and ulcerated legs”

More on Mr M: Medical recommendations, still awaiting discharge and final hearing plans

By Claire Martin, 12th April 2022 Mr M is still in hospital. He has now been there for 40 days.  He was originally taken to hospital under court order for assessment of his ulcerated legs, to enable medical recommendations to be made. We have previously blogged about this case, here, here and here. At this hearing[1] (12 noon, Friday 8th AprilContinue reading “More on Mr M: Medical recommendations, still awaiting discharge and final hearing plans”

Withdrawing treatment after brain-stem death: A case in the Family Division

Today I watched a hearing about whether or not a woman in her 40s is dead. She was declared dead at 11.45 on Thursday 10 March 2022, following brain stem death testing. The reason the doctors have continued to treat the patient and the reason the Trust has applied to court is that the family has opposed withdrawal of ventilation (and other treatments) and has asked for a private second opinion.    

When doctors are not willing to offer treatments

By Celia Kitzinger, 13th March 2022 This was an unusual hearing because of its focus on a treatment (clinically assisted nutrition)  that doctors were not willing to offer.   By the day of the hearing, the person at the centre of this case (P) had not received nutrition for 10 days, ever since his nasogastric (NG) tubeContinue reading “When doctors are not willing to offer treatments”

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.

Ethical complexity in a life-sustaining treatment case

By Bonnie Venter, 23rd February 2021 Editorial Notes: (1) A tweet thread about the hearing is available here. (2) The judgment has been published here.  (3) A different perspective on the same hearing (by Bridget Penhale) has been published here. There are moments in life that cause a monumental shift in who we used to be and who we areContinue reading “Ethical complexity in a life-sustaining treatment case”

Endoscopic dilatation against P’s wishes?

By Ravina Bahra, 10 February 2021 This hearing (case number: COP 13711789) before Ms Justice Russell on 9 February 2021 concerned an application to authorise up to five treatment procedures – likely to involve some degree of restraint amounting to deprivation of liberty – that P does not want to undergo. This was a directionsContinue reading “Endoscopic dilatation against P’s wishes?”

Refusing kidney dialysis – a daughter’s reflections

“When I asked for access to observe a hearing in the Court of Protection, I had no idea how close to home the key issue would turn out to be. …. The person at the centre of the case, AI, has end stage kidney disease. .. he’ll probably refuse to come back in for dialysis. This could mean that he dies…. My father died just over a year ago (in his mid 70s) because he, too, refused dialysis.”

Privacy, Capacity, and the Judge’s Communication Skills

“Hayden J has been at the forefront of ensuring that the voice of P is heard in the Court of Protection and that P is included in the hearing about them as much as is feasible… This hearing embodied that, with Hayden J taking the lead in ensuring that Ms P’s voice was not only heard but that she fully understood the proceedings. “