An NHS Trust v Dr A [2013] EWHC 2442 (COP), [2013] MHLO 4

Dr A was refusing food in protest at a UK Border Agency decision. (1) He was suffering from a delusional disorder which impaired the functioning of his brain by affecting his ability to use or weigh up information relevant to his decision whether or not to accept nourishment. (2) It was in his best interests for the court to make an order permitting the forcible administration of artificial nutrition and hydration. (3) (a) That treatment would involve deprivation of liberty, but Dr A was ineligible to be deprived of his liberty under the MCA because he was already detained under the MHA. (b) However, he could not be given the treatment under the MHA because it was not for a mental disorder, but a physical disorder; although the physical disorder was in part a consequence of the mental disorder, it was not obviously either a manifestation or a symptom of the mental disorder. (c) The solution to the problem was to authorise treatment under the High Court’s inherent jurisdiction as being in Dr A’s best interests.


Before: Baker J

External link


Jerome Taylor, 'Iranian immigrant must be force fed because "delusional disorder" renders him incapable of a decision on starvation, doctors tell High Court' (Independent, 30/1/13). This article summarises the case as follows: (a) P came to the UK on a six-month visa to learn English but refused to leave, asylum having been refused twice; (b) he stopped eating in May 2012 in protest at the UKBA's refusal to return his passport unless he returns to Iran; (c) an NHS Trust in the South-east of England is seeking to force-feed him on the basis that he lacks capacity because of a delusional disorder; (d) the case is ongoing and a reserved judgment is expected by mid-February 2013.