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Drilldown: Cases

Not many cases (252 of them) have been added to the database so far. To see the full list of cases (2079) go to the Mental health case law page.

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Cases > Subject : Best interests or Criminal law capacity cases or Medical treatment cases & Court : Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) or High Court (Family Division)

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Page name Sentence Summary
A Healthcare and B NHS Trust v CC (2020) EWHC 574 (Fam)

Haemodialysis under s63 MHA 1983

"By reason of the above, the Court finds that: (i) The physical condition CC is now in, by which dialysis is critical to keep him alive, is properly described as a manifestation of his mental disorder. There is a very real prospect that if he was not mentally ill he would self-care in a way that would have not led to the need for dialysis. Further, CC's refusal of dialysis is very obviously a manifestation of his mental disorder and dialysis treatment is therefore treatment within the scope of section 63 MHA 1983. (ii) CC's capacity to consent to dialysis treatment fluctuates, however his consent is not required in order to be treated, by way of dialysis treatment, under section 63 MHA 1983. (iii) The decision whether it is in CC's best interests to receive dialysis treatment is a matter for CC's responsible clinician (having consulted clinicians attending to his physical health, including the consultant nephrologist), subject to the supervisory jurisdiction of the Court. (iv) Section 58 has no applicability. Section 62 disapplies section 58 in urgent treatment cases such as this where treatment is immediately necessary to save CC's life, to prevent a serious deterioration of his condition, and to alleviate serious suffering. Section 63 is the appropriate course. (v) As section 63 MHA 1983 can be used as authority to provide medical treatment to CC, including by dialysis treatment and by the use of light physical restraint and chemical restraint (if required), it is unnecessary for the court to exercise its discretion and make a contingent declaration pursuant to section 15(1)(c) MCA 2005 that it is lawful to treat CC in accordance with the proposed dialysis treatment plan in the event that he lacks capacity to make a decision regarding dialysis treatment at the relevant time."

JK v A Local Health Board (2019) EWHC 67 (Fam)

Force feeding under s63 MHA 1983

"In my view his refusal to contemplate any alternative paths, and his rigid belief that refusing to eat is his only way forward, is a consequence of his autism and as such falls within s.63. The proposed force feeding is therefore certainly capable of being treatment for the manifestation of his mental disorder. However, that does not mean that I by any means accept that force feeding JK would be in his best interests, or critically would be "treatment" that falls within the definition in s.145(4) of the MHA, as being "to alleviate or prevent a worsening of the disorder…". It is apparent that force feeding is a highly intrusive process, which involves sedating the patient whilst the naso-gastric tube is inserted and potentially having to restrain the patient for fairly prolonged periods. This process would be extremely upsetting for any patient, but for JK with his ASD and his aversion to eating in front of other people, the process would be even more traumatic. JK said in oral evidence that he viewed the possibility as abhorrent, and it was clear from that response how incredibly upsetting for all concerned having to go through that process would be. If it came to that stage close consideration would necessarily have to be given to the terms of article 3 ECHR and the caselaw such as Herczegfalvy v Austria [1993] 15 EHRR 437 and the test of medical necessity."

R v C (2008) EWCA Crim 1155

Capacity to consent to sexual activity

If the complainant consented to sexual activity against her inclination because she was frightened of the defendant, even if her fear was irrational and caused by her mental disorder, it did not follow that she lacked the capacity to choose whether to agree to sexual activity. [Overturned on appeal.]

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council v ZZ (2020) EWHC 185 (Fam)

Withholding life-sustaining treatment from baby

"It is impossible not to feel that X's life is one of nothing but suffering. As is set out in the cases above, life itself is precious and there is a very strong presumption in favour of preserving life. But X's life is a truly tragic one and certainly reaches a threshold of intolerability. ... His life expectancy is probably no more than a year on the basis of the literature. ... For all these reasons I am clear that it is not in X's best interests that he should be resuscitated or that he should be given life sustaining treatment."

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