March 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.
- 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 1970 categorised cases
- Chronology. See March 2019 chronology for this month's changes to the website in date order.
- Case (Withdrawal of CANH). SS v CCG  EWCOP 40 — "The application seeks a declaration pursuant to section 15 (that it is lawful and in B's best interests for CANH to be withdrawn) and, secondly, an order pursuant to section 16 for such withdrawal and for B to receive palliative care only. If granted, it is anticipated that B will pass away. ... In support of granting the application there are a number of important factors. It is consistent with her previously expressed feelings and wishes. It supports her right, I suspect strongly held, to self-determination. She has no quality of life. Therapeutically, her life is futile, there is no hope of recovery. There is no hope. If I allow the application and make the declarations, it will bring to an end the invasive and, in my judgment, burdensome medical treatment from which she, B, obtains no benefit. It is consistent with her Muslim religion. It is consistent with her devoted husband's views of his wife's best interests. It is consistent with the unanimous views of those that are responsible for caring and treating her, whether it be the clinical or the support team. Is there any factor which weighs in the scales against granting the application? There is. It is the powerful principle that if I make the declarations, it will inevitably lead to B's death, so offends against the very strong principle of the sanctity of life. Having taken time to consider the matter, it seems to me clear that the direction of travel is all one way. It is with my very greatest sympathy to the family and B's husband in particular that balance falls very clearly in favour of me granting the application and making the declarations as sought, and I do so."
- Case (Retrospective authorisation of DNA swab sample). DCC v NLH  EWCOP 9 — "I concluded it would be appropriate to make a declaration (1) that NLH lacked capacity (a) to make decisions as to the provision of buccal swab samples, the testing of such samples and the profiling of his DNA and (b) to conduct these proceedings, and further (2) that it was lawful for the local authority to arrange for the taking of buccal swabs from NLH for the purposes of performing DNA paternity testing in respect of the child. I further concluded it would be appropriate to make an order, by consent, that the court consented on NLH's behalf for the swab sample to be taken and tested and so that his DNA could be profiled to establish whether he was the father of the child. Shortly before the order was made, however, it emerged that a member of staff from the DNA testing company, Lextox, had already attended at the nursing home and taken the sample, with the agreement of NLH's family, but without either the formal consent of NLH (who lack capacity to provide consent) or the approval of the court. ... I therefore agreed to prepare this short judgment to remind practitioners, carers and those involved in taking samples in these circumstances that, where the patient lacks capacity and an application has been made to the Court of Protection for an order authorising the taking of a sample, it will be unlawful for the sample to be taken without the Court's permission. All practitioners and professionals working in this field ought to be aware that there is always a judge of the Family Division on duty available to sit in the Court of Protection twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, to deal with urgent applications, usually by telephone. Consequently, there is no excuse for any failure to comply with the obligations to obtain the court's permission in circumstances such as these. As stated, no harm arose on this occasion, but any infringement in future will run the risk not only of attracting severe criticism from the Court but also potentially incurring liability for damages if a breach of human rights were to be established."
- Case (Whether child had "sufficient understanding" to conduct appeal without Guardian). CS v SBH  EWHC 634 (Fam) — "Thus in determining whether the child has sufficient understanding to give instructions to pursue an appeal and to conduct the appeal I need to consider a range of factors including: (i) The level of intelligence of the child. (ii) The emotional maturity of the child. (iii) Factors which might undermine their understanding such as issues arising from their emotional, psychological, psychiatric or emotional state. (iv) Their reasons for wishing to instruct a solicitor directly or to act without a guardian and the strength of feeling accompanying the wish to play a direct role. (v) Their understanding of the issues in the case and their desired outcome any matter which sheds light on the extent to which those are authentically their own or are mere parroting of one parents position. ... (vi) Their understanding of the process of litigation including the function of their lawyer, the role of the judge, the role they might play and the law that is applied and some of the consequences of involvement in litigation. ... (vii) The court's assessment of the risk of harm to the child of direct participation for the risk of harm arising from excluding the child from direct participation and the child's appreciation of the risks of harm."
- Case (Residence, contact, tenancy). London Borough of Hackney v SJF  EWCOP 8 — "SJF is a 56 year old woman with a complicated matrix of physical and mental health issues. Apart from frequent hospital admissions, she is presently living in a residential placement. She wants to go home to live in her rented flat with her son. The Court is asked to determine: (a) Whether she has capacity to make decisions about where she lives, how she is cared for, the contact she has with others (notably her son) and whether to terminate and enter into tenancy agreements; and (b) If she lacks capacity in the relevant domains, where she should live, whether her contact with her son should be restricted and whether tenancy agreements should be terminated/entered into."
- Case (Autism in prison). R (Hall) v SSJ  EWHC 1905 (Admin) — Unsuccessful judicial review by prisoner claiming breach of Equality Act 2010 reasonable adjustments duty.
- Case (Disproportionate litigation - legal costs, and LIP costs). London Borough of Hounslow v A Father & A Mother  EWCOP 23 — Judge's headnote: "Costs in the Court of Protection - Disproportionate litigation - Whether a litigant in person is entitled to recover costs including loss of earnings"
- Case (Medical treatment case). King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust v FG  EWCOP 7 — "[T]he King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust seeks an order in the following terms in relation to FG: (a) a declaration that FG lacks capacity to make decisions regarding the medical treatment for his physical health conditions; (b) that it is lawful and in FG's best interests for him to undergo an operation to repair his right shoulder fracture/dislocation; and (c) that it is in his best interests to receive any sedation and anaesthesia his clinicians think necessary to allow the operation to be done. The matter has come in front of me today as urgent applications judge."
- Case (Unfair summary disposal of DOL/residence case). CB v Medway Council  EWCOP 5 — "The simple issue is whether the Judge had sufficient information before her to discount, at this stage, any real possibility of CB returning to her home, supported by the extensive and expensive care package that is being mooted. The language of the Judgment itself, to my mind, answers this question in phrases such as “I very much doubt…. I am very sceptical…. The practicalities are…. likely to be extremely difficult….” I share the Judge’s scepticism and I also very much doubt that even with an extensive package of support a return home will be in CB’s best interest. I note too that Dr Ajiteru expressed himself in cautious terms (see para 10 above). However, scepticism and “doubt” is not sufficient to discount a proper enquiry in to such a fundamental issue of individual liberty. ... It is easy to see why the Judge took the course she did and I have a good deal of sympathy with her. She will have recognised, as do I, that the effluxion of time has had its own impact on the viability of the options in this case. However, what is involved here is nothing less than CB’s liberty. Curtailing, restricting or depriving any adult of such a fundamental freedom will always require cogent evidence and proper enquiry. I cannot envisage any circumstances where it would be right to determine such issues on the basis of speculation and general experience in other cases."
- Case (Litigation capacity). DM v Dorset County Council  EWCOP 4 — Unsuccessful challenge to a finding that DM lacked litigation capacity.
- Observation guidance. Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings in the First-tier Tribunal Health Education and Social Care Chamber (mental health jurisdiction)' (10/1/19) — This guidance supersedes Mental Health Tribunal, 'Guidance for the observation of tribunal hearings' (5/11/09), the main difference being that it is no longer necessary for observation requests by solicitors, barrister, nurses, doctors, social workers etc to be made in advance to the Deputy Chamber President.
- Event. RAB: AMHP Refresher and Re-approval course - London, 3/6/19 to 5/6/19 — This 3-day course is based near London Bridge station at the London Councils training venue. It prepares AMHPs for re-approval as well as providing 18 hours of training to meet the annual regulatory requirement. Speakers: Rob Brown and Christine Hutchison. Cost £400 + VAT. Contact Rob Brown on email@example.com for further details and booking information.
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