Vulnerable adult refuses treatment for diabetes

An interesting case in relation to the capacity of a vulnerable adult (‘JJ’) and his refusal of treatment for diabetes was considered recently by Cobb, J in The Hospital v JJ [2019] EWCOP 41.

A hospital trust made an urgent application to  the Court of Protection that it was in JJ’s best interests to use all reasonable and proportionate measures available to give insulin to treat his diabetes. This also included physical restraint, if this was required.

The Court ruled that there was insufficient reason to believe that vulnerable adult JJ lacked the requisite mental capacity to make decisions about his treatment for diabetes and that it was in JJ’s best interests to be treated by the hospital trust. The Court also authorised a deprivation of liberty which provided that reasonable restraint could be used to administer the insulin as it was both ‘necessary and proportionate’ and in JJ’s best interests. This was a sensible judgment by the Court as JJ would die without such treatment.

(More information about the judgment can be found here.)

Lindsey Sharples is a solicitor in the private client team at Barker Gotelee, Solicitors in Ipswich.

Personal Solicitors Suffolk – click here for more information on our range of services.