Patient wins right to bypass relative

A woman with a 20-year history of mental health problems has won
a test case to prevent her sister having a say on whether she
should be admitted to hospital.

Mr Justice Bennett, sitting in the Court of Appeal last week,
said the woman, who cannot be named, had “chronic mental health
problems” but was still “competent” to make decisions about her

She launched a judicial review challenge over Bristol Council’s
proposals to consult and inform her sister should she need to be
admitted to hospital.

But the judge upheld the woman’s claim that her rights to
privacy under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights
may have been violated because she did not want her sister

The ruling is a setback for those who oppose the proposed
replacement of the “nearest relative” with a nominated person or
carer under the draft mental health bill.

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