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COVID-19 vaccination: capacity and best interests – the first reported Court of Protection judgement

Date:11 FEB 2021
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Head of Surrogacy, Adoption, Fertility & Modern Family

On 20 January 2021 in the matter of Re E (Vaccine) [2021] EWCOP 7 the Vice-President of the Court of Protection Mr Justice Hayden delivered the first reported judgement in a vaccination dispute. Mrs E the 80 year old dementia sufferer at the centre of the dispute (and who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia some 20 years ago) was living in a care home where there had been several cases of COVID-19.


On 8 January 2021 the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham informed Mrs E’s Accredited Legal Representative that she was to be offered a COVID-19 injection on 11 January however her son Mr W objected to this. Due to the risk of Mrs E succumbing to COVID-19 her legal representatives urgently sought a declaration pursuant to s.15 of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (‘MCA 2005’) that it would be lawful and in her best interests to receive the vaccine at the next possible date (the appointment on 11 January having been missed due to the son’s objection).

In oral evidence her son explained that Mrs E...

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