May 2019 update

This page is automatically generated: it will only be complete at the end of the month. All monthly updates are available here: Archive of monthly updates.

Website

  • Magic Book. The Magic Book is a database of contact details. The main idea is to add the hospitals and other places you visit (not just your own place of work). To create/edit contacts, there is no need to log in and the process is very quick and simple. See Magic Book
  • Mental Health Law Online CPD scheme: 12 points for £60. Obtain 12 CPD points online by answering monthly questionnaires. The scheme is an ideal way to obtain your necessary hours, or to evidence your continued competence. It also helps to support the continued development of this website, and your subscriptions (and re-subscriptions) are appreciated. For full details and to subscribe, see CPD scheme.
  • Cases. By the end of this month, Mental Health Law Online contained 1993 categorised cases

Cases

  • Case (Withdrawal of CANH). A Clinical Commissioning Group v P [2019] EWCOP 18 — "Having given anxious consideration to this very sad case, and with profound regret, for the reasons set out above I am satisfied this court should declare that P lacks capacity to make decisions regarding CANH. Further, in circumstances where I have concluded that P lacks capacity to decide for herself whether or not to continue to receive CANH, I am satisfied that it is in P's best interests to consent on her behalf to the withdrawal of that treatment, a step that I acknowledge will result in her death. ... In all the circumstances, I am satisfied that the sanctity of P's life should now give way to what I am satisfied was her settled view on the decision before the court prior to the fateful day of her overdose in April 2014."
  • Case (Police use of force). Gilchrist v Greater Manchester Police [2019] EWHC 1233 (QB) — "I recognise that this was a challenging situation for the police officers. They were faced with an individual who presented as very angry, covered in blood and with whom they were unable to communicate. Prior to Andrew Gilchrist's explanation, their assumption that Michael Gilchrist was an aggressor who, probably, had assaulted someone and needed to be detained, was reasonable. In those circumstances, their initial actions to attempt to bring him under control using CS gas and Taser were justified, reasonable and proportionate. However, once they were appraised of his vulnerability as an autistic man, and his behaviour suggested that he was defensive rather than aggressive, a more cautious approach should have been adopted. The further use of Taser, which had already proved to be ineffective, and following the use of CS gas, was inappropriate. The alternative course mandated by PS Morris, namely, using the force of the officers available to take Mr Gilchrist to the ground and restrain him without using weapons was a reasonable and proportionate response."
  • Case (Capacity to consent to sex with husband). London Borough of Tower Hamlets v NB [2019] EWCOP 17 — "There is also evidence that indicates that NB very much enjoys the status of marriage, is affectionate to her husband [AU] and, on occasion, initiates sexual relations. This appears consistent with Ms Wilson's observations as long ago as 1996. The primary issue before the Court is whether NB truly has the capacity to consent to sexual relations. ... Unfortunately, the case attracted a great deal of media coverage, this notwithstanding that no argument had been heard and no Judgment delivered. A great deal of the comment was sententious and, in some instances, irresponsible. It is considered, by the Official Solicitor and the applicant Local Authority, that the impact of that publicity frightened AU very considerably, leading him to believe that he was likely to be sent to prison. He has left the party's flat and disengaged with these proceedings. ... [Mr Bagchi for the OS] submits it is a 'general' or 'issue-specific' test rather than a partner-specific one. If Mr Bagchi is correct, the difficulty that presents in this case is that there is only one individual with whom it is really contemplated that NB is likely to have a sexual relationship i.e. her husband of 27 years. It seems entirely artificial therefore to be assessing her capacity in general terms when the reality is entirely specific. ... As I said on the last occasion, these issues are integral to the couple's basic human rights. There is a crucial social, ethical and moral principle in focus. It is important that the relevant test is not framed in such a restrictive way that it serves to discriminate against those with disabilities, in particular those with low intelligence or border line capacity. ... Mr Bagchi has accepted that if a person-specific test were applied here then the outcome, in terms of assessment of NB's capacity may be different. ... I do not necessarily consider that the applicable test in the Court of Protection necessarily excludes the 'person specific approach'. I am reserving my Judgment ..."
  • Case (Capacity and ability to communicate). Patel v Arriva Midlands Ltd [2019] EWHC 1216 (QB) — "Dr Fleminger's assessment was: 'Whether or not he can understand what information he is given and use and weigh this information in the balance to make decision, he is unable to communicate any decision he has made. Whether or not he regains capacity in the future depends on the outcome of his conversion disorder'. I am satisfied on the balance of probabilities that Dr Fleminger's capacity assessment was made on the basis of incorrect information gleaned from the Claimant's presentation and from what he was told by Chirag Patel of the Claimant's disabilities, namely that the Claimant was unable to communicate any decision he has made. ... In addition ... I do accept Dr Schady's opinion [that there is no conversion disorder]. Once again that leaves the Claimant with a presumption of capacity. ... To summarise: (i) The Claimant is presumed to have capacity. (ii) The court finds that the Claimant has been fundamentally dishonest in respect of his claim, and his litigation friend Chirag Patel has participated in this dishonesty. (iii) The entirety of the claim is dismissed, the court being satisfied that no substantial injustice would be caused in so doing. The court assesses damages for the 'honest part' of the claim at £5750."
  • Case (Inquest and DOLS). R (Maguire) v HM's Senior Coroner for Blackpool and Fylde [2019] EWHC 1232 (Admin) — "First, the claimant contends that the defendant erred in law by determining at the end of the evidence that article 2 no longer applied under Parkinson, thereby prejudging a matter that should have been left to the jury. Secondly, the Coroner erred in law by determining that the jury should not be directed to consider whether neglect should form part of their conclusion. ... That the case law has extended the positive duty beyond the criminal justice context in Osman is not in doubt. The reach of the duty, beyond what Lord Dyson called the "paradigm example" of detention, is less easy to define. We have reached the conclusion, however, that the touchstone for state responsibility has remained constant: it is whether the circumstances of the case are such as to call a state to account: Rabone, para 19, citing Powell. In the absence of either systemic dysfunction arising from a regulatory failure or a relevant assumption of responsibility in a particular case, the state will not be held accountable under article 2. ... We agree that a person who lacks capacity to make certain decisions about his or her best interests - and who is therefore subject to DOLS under the 2005 Act - does not automatically fall to be treated in the same way as Lord Dyson's paradigm example. In our judgment, each case will turn on its facts. ... [The Coroner] properly directed himself as to the appropriate test to apply to the issue of neglect and having done so declined to leave the issue to the jury."
  • Case (Diminished responsibility medical evidence). R v Hussain [2019] EWCA Crim 666 — "The single judge has referred the application for leave to appeal against conviction [for murder] and the extension of time application to the full court. The application for leave to appeal raises again the issue of what a trial judge should do when the sole issue to be determined at trial is the partial defence of diminished responsibility provided by section 2 of the Homicide Act 1957 (as amended) and there is unanimity amongst the psychiatric experts as to the mental health of the killer at the time of the killing."
  • Case (HBSO, colonoscopy, deception). University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHSFT v J [2019] EWCOP 16 — "[Anne] is the subject of an application brought by the [Trust] for declarations that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo a hysterectomy and bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and a colonoscopy, and that, in order to enable those to be undertaken, it is in her best interests for a transfer plan to be implemented which will involve her sedation and a level of deception to ensure her presence at hospital for the procedures to be undertaken. The application arises because it is said that Anne lacks capacity. ... It is entirely right that cases such as this, where medical decisions and the plan for their implementation impact so profoundly on P's personal autonomy, bodily integrity and reproductive rights, should be considered by the Court of Protection at High Court level, and as this case demonstrates, once in the hands of the court and the Official Solicitor they can be dealt with rapidly. I therefore have no hesitation in declaring that it is in Anne's best interests to undergo HBSO and colonoscopy (and associated surgical procedures) and for the care plan to be implemented in its final amended form."
  • Case (Suicide burden of proof at inquests). R (Maughan) v Her Majesty's Senior Coroner for Oxfordshire [2019] EWCA Civ 809 — "This appeal involves questions of importance concerning the law and practice of coroners' inquests where an issue is raised as to whether the deceased died by suicide. The questions can be formulated as follows: (1) Is the standard of proof to be applied the criminal standard (satisfied so as to be sure) or the civil standard (satisfied that it is more probable than not) in deciding whether the deceased deliberately took his own life intending to kill himself? (2) Does the answer depend on whether the determination is expressed by way of short-form conclusion or by way of narrative conclusion? Those are the questions falling for decision in this case; but to an extent they have also required some consideration of the position with regard to unlawful killing. ... I conclude that, in cases of suicide, the standard of proof to be applied throughout at inquests, and including both short-form conclusions and narrative conclusions, is the civil standard of proof."
  • Case (Marriage, prenuptial agreement, information about extent of assets, etc). PBM v TGT [2019] EWCOP 6 — "... I identified the issues that would need to be considered at the final hearing. These were: (a) PBM's capacity to: (i) marry; (ii) make a will; (iii) enter into a prenuptial agreement; (iv) manage his property and affairs (or part thereof); (v) make decisions as to the arrangements for his care; and (vi) make decisions in relation to contact with others. (b) If PBM lacks capacity to manage his property and affairs: (i) whether (if he has capacity to enter into an antenuptial agreement and/or make a will) he should be provided with information about the extent of his assets; (ii) whether it is in his best interest for the court to direct any changes or further safeguards in relation to the current arrangement for their management; (iii) what steps should be taken to assist PBM in developing skills which may assist him in gaining capacity in that regard. (c) If PBM lacks capacity as to his care arrangements, whether it is in his best interest for further directions to be given by the court in relation thereto."
  • Case (Residence and care). Harrow CCG v IPJ [2018] EWCOP 44 — "The Court is asked to determine where AJ should live and how he should be cared for. The applicant CCG has proposed an extensive package of care at the family home, with (most of) the financial arrangements managed by a third party broker. JA's parents, who are the Second and Third Respondents, do not agree the proposals and seek the dismissal of the application.
  • Case (Capacity to conduct proceedings). TB v KB [2019] EWCOP 14 — "Law applicable to the court's determination of the question of whether P lacks capacity to conduct proceedings is well settled. ... Having regard to that analysis, I am clear that P does lack that capacity. This leaves the question of P's participation in these proceedings."

Resources

  • Summary of LPS legislation passage through Parliament. Claire Tyler, 'The stormy passage of the Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill' (The House Magazine, 2/5/19) — In this article Baroness Tyler summarises the history of this legislation, concluding that "much relies on what will be set out in the Code of Practice and in secondary legislation, which will be vital in determining how the new system will work, including the vexed issue of a definition of what does and doesn’t constitute a deprivation of liberty" and that "without proper funding[,] staff resources and training it will fail in practice".

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