Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

How does a nurse hold your hand to restrain you?

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The Court of Protection made an interesting decision in the case of a man without mental capacity to make the decision for himself that he could be restrained to have kidney dialysis in his own interests. The case has not been officially reported, because it was settled by consent, but a legal information service says:

Mrs Justice Parker granted permission for the trust’s clinical staff to restrain Mr S, during dialysis if he continues to refuse treatment. She is quoted as saying, “[n]obody is suggesting that the gentleman is restrained in a straight-jacket or anything like that, it has to be proportionate … he should be gently restrained by having a hand-held by each nurse so it is possible to put in a catheter.”

…Mrs Justice Parker concluded that it would be in Mr S’s best interests to implement the weekly invasive treatment which “has a capacity to be cruel to him” in order to save his life.

This judgment is interesting not only because of its uniqueness, but because “gently”  restraining someone raises very practical issues of difficulty in implementation. In Mr S’s case he has since submitted to the treatment (ie, restraint is not required) and the order has been extended indefinitely.

In what way does a nurse hold your hand to restrain you, I wonder.

You can see this item here in the Mills and Reeve Health Legal Update.

Link to my list of useful legal updates.


Written by Malcolm Payne

9 August 2012 at 1:03 pm

Posted in care, healthcare, legal

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