Mental capacity and coronavirus

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Coronavirus vaccination cases can be found in Category:Coronavirus vaccination cases:

  • Coronavirus vaccination. Re E (Vaccine): LB Hammersmith and Fulham v W [2021] EWCOP 7 — Mrs E's adult son objected to her receiving a coronavirus vaccine. The Court of Protection decided that it would be in her best interests, having regard to factors including the following: (a) when she had capacity she had received the swine flu and influenza vaccinations; (b) she currently wanted "whatever is best for me"; (c) she was at risk of death from coronavirus because she was in her 80s, suffered from diabetes, lived in a care home which recently had coronavirus, and found social distancing difficult to understand; the vaccine would reduce the risk of death.
  • Coronavirus vaccination. NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG v CR [2021] EWCOP 19 — CR lacked capacity in relation to the coronavirus vaccination and it was not possible to determine his wishes and feelings. The Court of Protection decided it was in his best interests to have the vaccination, based on the orthodox view of its benefits, and rejecting family members' objections. The relief sought by the CCG was granted, although physical intervention was not authorised.
  • Coronavirus vaccination. A CCG v AD [2021] EWCOP 47 — The court decided that it was it was in AD's best interests to be administered two doses of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine: the plan was for a sedative to be given, not only to sedate but also to prevent memory formation, and for a nurse swiftly to enter the room, inject him, then leave, while AD was distracted by his care team. Any booster vaccination, or any care plan involving force, would have to be considered at a future court hearing.
  • Coronavirus vaccination. Royal Borough of Greenwich v IOSK [2021] EWCOP 65 — It was determined to be in the best interests of IOSK, a 17-year-old male with autism and severe learning disability, to be administered a coronavirus vaccination, despite family objections.
  • Coronavirus vaccination. A CCG v DC [2022] EWCOP 2 — (1) The judge followed the "official line" and on a fine balance authorised administration of the coronavirus vaccination and boosters to a young man against his parents' wishes - the main reason being "a positive effect on DC's enjoyment of life by allowing him to be more involved in the life of his care home and with his parents" - noting that he could see no reason for the court not to apply to adults under the MCA the same approach taken by the courts to children. (2) Other options were refused: consideration of treatment with ivermectin (as it was not an available option); further evidence to fine-tune the CCG's risk/benefit analysis (owing to the lateness of the application, urgency, and uncertainty about the proposal), and consideration of further evidence on vaccine risk (owing to the lateness of the application and to avoid an adjournment).
  • Coronavirus vaccination. NHS Liverpool CCG v X [2022] EWCOP 17 — The judge followed the orthodox view in deciding that administering a coronavirus vaccination was in X's best interests despite family objections.
  • Coronavirus vaccination. North Yorkshire Clinical Commissioning Group v E [2022] EWCOP 15 — The judge followed the orthodox view in deciding that administering a coronavirus vaccination was in E's best interests despite objections from some family members, and offered guidance which concluded that "disagreements amongst family members about P being vaccinated which are at their root disagreements about the rights and wrongs of a national vaccination programme are not suitable for determination by the court. It will be in P's best interests to avoid delay and for differences to be resolved without recourse to court proceedings."
  • Coronavirus vaccination. A CCG v DC [2022] EWCOP 20 — DC had not been vaccinated despite the original court decision that, given the high risk of serious consequences, it would be in his best interests; he had, however, contracted coronavirus (experiencing high temperature, pain, and some respiratory distress) and made a full recovery. On appeal, the judge noted that the parents' anxious reaction to the vaccination process was indirectly one of the factors illuminating DC's best interests, and ordered further evidence before reaching a final conclusion: "(i) How many injections is DC likely to require? (ii) Given that DC was most likely infected by the Omicron variant, is it necessary for him to have both an injection and a booster? (iii) Given his 'clinical vulnerability', is it likely that DC will require any medication or vaccination presently targeted to this particular group? (iv) Is it the case that vaccination, post natural infection by the Omicron variant, is likely to boost immunity?"
  • Coronavirus vaccination. A Clinical Commissioning Group v FZ [2022] EWCOP 21 — (1) The CCG's plan was for someone to befriend FZ over a number of visits, then for a vaccinator to attend and inject her swiftly before she was able to understand what was happening. No physical intervention and restraint was proposed and the court "would not entertain such an application were it to be made." (2) The court took the usual orthodox view as its starting point, by analogy with the High Court's approach to children: it is "very difficult to foresee a case in which a vaccination approved for use in children, including vaccinations against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, would not be endorsed by the Court as being in the child's best interests absent a credible development in medical science or peer reviewed research evidence indicating significant concern for the efficacy and/or safety of the vaccine or a well evidenced medical contraindication specific to the subject child". (3) However, wider best interests considerations include how the vaccination would be administered. In this case, FZ would resist, and the plan would likely fail, at least on the first attempt, and result in trauma for her and her family: overall, it was not in her best interests.
  • Coronavirus vaccination. An ICB v RN and TN [2022] EWCOP 41 — RN had already contracted coronavirus and recovered, and his mother objected to administration of a coronavirus vaccination. The court decided that it would be in his best interests, primarily because of government guidance (which the doctors followed) and because the court should take the same approach to adults lacking capacity as to children, and partly because the "altruistic argument" that receiving the vaccine would help others "is a powerful factor that is likely to be a strong argument for the vaccine for people in a risk group such as RN".



  • Coronavirus testing and capacity. Alex Ruck Keene et al, 'Rapid response guidance note: Testing for COVID-19 and mental capacity' (4/5/20) — "The Court of Protection team has been asked to advise on a number of occasions as to the legal position in relation to testing for COVID-19, especially as testing (a) starts to be more generally available; and (b) is increasingly been rolled out as mandatory in certain settings. What follows is a general discussion, as opposed to legal advice on the facts of individual cases, which the team can provide. It primarily relates to the position in England in relation to those aged 18 and above; specific advice should be sought in respect of Wales and those under 18."

Reasonable excuse to leave your home

Social distancing


Care home visiting




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