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Health & Welfare - Best Interest Decisions

Rather dramatically the case of the unfortunate Skripals in Salisbury has provided an example of the workings of a “best interest “ Health and Welfare decision.

Mr and Miss Skripal are both unconscious and unable to give consent to the taking of blood samples for the international tests to identify the precise nerve agent which has poisoned them. Neither of them have a Health and Welfare Attorney . Nor apparently is there any contact with any family whose views might have been canvassed -in this case the family would not have actually been making the decision . So an application was made to the Court of Protection for an order to allow the blood samples to be taken and this was granted by the Court on Thursday. The fact that they are both so ill that there seems grave doubt as to whether either of them will recover sufficiently to be able to give consent themselves was held particularly relevant.

It would have been very interesting to see , if the Skripals had an Attorney who had refused to give consent (for whatever reason) , if medical staff would have wished to apply to the Court of Protection to overrule the Attorney’s decision and what the Court’s best interest decision might have been in that event.

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