A combination of the pressure of our other commitments and a lack of major reported cases from the Court of Protection means that we will not have a formal Report before the end of the year. A bumper issue will appear mid/late-January, but in the interim a few key developments do merit notice.
Widely reported in the news was the substantial settlement made in respect of a woman whose advance decision to refuse medical treatment had not been honoured (because it had been lost) for 22 months. We will address this further in the next Report, but two points are worth mentioning: (1) we understand the claim was, in fact, not a human rights claim, but a claim for negligence and assault; and (2) it was the woman’s GP who alerted the woman’s family and argued alongside them that it should be honoured.
The Supreme Court has yet to decide upon permission in the Y case (see pp. 9ff here) as to whether CANH can be withdrawn without the sanction of the court where the patient’s family and treating clinicians. That permission has not been granted, despite the case being certified for “leapfrog” and expedition sought, is perhaps surprising given that CANH is being administered to Mr Y which is (arguably) an ongoing assault upon him if it is not in his best interests.
The General Medical Council, British Medical Association and Royal College of Physicians have issued interim guidance in response to recent legal developments (including the withdrawal of PD9E as of 1 December) in relation to the way decisions concerning the withdrawal of CANH are made from patients in a PVS or MCS following sudden onset profound brain injury.
Two consultations (one out and one imminent) merit your attention over the holiday period:
The Independent Mental Health Act Review is gathering pace:
Finally, two publications for you:
Normal report service will resume mid/late-January, and we wish you all happy holidays in the meantime.