Intended for healthcare professionals


Incapable patients and the law

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: (Published 26 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:237
  1. David W Hewitt, partner (
  1. Hempsons Solicitors, Manchester M1 3LF

    Editor—Stewart writes that patients with dementia can be judged to be lacking capacity by a single medical opinion and transferred to an institutional facility “in their best interests,” with little chance of being able to leave and little or no access to appeal. 1 The law says that shouldn't happen, and in time, there will be legislation to prevent it.

    In the Bournewood case, the European Court …

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