Court allows transfer of elderly man to hospital against his wishes

Man who suffers with cancer and psychiatric illness has history of refusing treatment

His doctor had recommended his admission to hospital but the man who is aged in his 80s refused to go there by ambulance on Saturday. File photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

His doctor had recommended his admission to hospital but the man who is aged in his 80s refused to go there by ambulance on Saturday. File photograph: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

 

An order permitting the emergency admission to hospital of a seriously ill elderly man against his wishes has been made by the president of the High Court.

Aged in his 80s with a serious psychiatric illness and suffering with cancer, the man has a history of refusing medical treatment after accidents, the court heard.

He is being cared for by a relative in her home.

His doctor had recommended his admission to hospital but he refused to go there by ambulance on Saturday.

In those circumstances, Paul Brady, for the HSE, applied to High Court president Ms Justice Mary Irvine on Monday for various orders, including for the man’s emergency admission to hospital that afternoon and permitting the hospital to detain him for the purpose of assessment and administration of such treatment as it considers appropriate.

Mr Brady said, in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and the need to avoid further court applications where possible, he wanted orders which would allow for the man’s discharge from the hospital to residential or hospice care as appropriate.

Two siblings of the man, as the committee representing his interests in wardship after he was made a ward of court last year, fully supported the orders, the court heard.

The man was taken into wardship on the basis of medical evidence he lacked capacity to make decisions around treatment for suspected cancer.

Ms Justice Irvine, who manages the wards of court list, said on Monday she was satisfied to make the orders and returned the matter to April next.