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
    future.

    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
    involved.

    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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