Man refusing treatment in bid for hospital care closer to home


A man with learning difficulties is refusing medication which could save his life because he wants to be in a hospital nearer home, a judge has been told.

The man's family live in the Thames Valley region but he is in hospital in the North West, Mr Justice Moylan has been told.

Lawyers representing the man want heath service officials to explain what steps have been taken to move him closer to home.

The case is being analysed in the Court of Protection - where judges consider issues relating to sick and vulnerable people who may lack the mental capacity to make decisions.

NHS hospital bosses with responsibility for his care want a judge to decide whether the man should be "compelled" to accept medication or be given medication "covertly".

Mr Justice Moylan was given an outline of issues at a preliminary hearing in London on Friday - and said the man, who is in his 20s, could be not be identified.

The judge said what the man was doing was "in a sense" a "protest".

He was told that the man had needed heart surgery and had a thrombosis which "posed a real risk to his health".

Lawyers said he was refusing to take necessary anti-coagulation medication.

Staff from the Official Solicitor's office - which offers help to vulnerable people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions - are representing the man.

Vikram Sachdeva QC, who is heading the man's legal team, explained why he was refusing medication.

"The reason he is refusing treatment - he wants to be back with his family," said Mr Sachdeva.

"(We are) extremely concerned as to what steps have been taken to move him nearer to his home."

Mr Sachdeva added: "He can be moved."

He said he wanted NHS England to provide explanations.

Mr Justice Moylan heard from lawyers representing medics involved in the man's care - including Bridget Dolan QC, who is representing the hospital trust which has asked for rulings.

The case is expected to return to court soon.