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Court lifts order that prevented man with head injuries leaving hospital

Medical professionals treating the man had believed that he would be unable to properly look after himself if he left the hospital.

THE HIGH COURT has lifted orders preventing a man who suffered severe head injuries following an alleged serious assault from leaving the hospital where he has been undergoing treatment.

The man is now free to discharge himself from the hospital where he has been a patient at for some time.

Medical professionals treating the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, secured the orders last week on the grounds that the man was seeking to leave the hospital when he lacked the capacity to properly look after himself.

Fears were expressed for the man’s welfare and safety if he were to leave the facility at that time.

The court, after considering arguments from medical professions in charge of his care granted the hospital temporary orders including one restraining him from discharging himself.

The orders were reviewed by the courts, and in a subsequent hearing last Friday Justice Mark Sanfey was informed that the man’s condition was improving, and it was hoped that he could leave the hospital sometime this week.

When the matter returned before the High Court this afternoon Justice Eileen Roberts was told by counsel for the hospital that the man’s condition had now improved to the degree that the restraining orders could now be vacated.

The man, who in recent days underwent assessments of his mental capacity by those treating him, was deemed fit to discharge himself and was “eager to leave”, the hospital’s counsel Rebecca Mac Cana BL said.

Justice Roberts, after being furnished with extensive medical reports which stated that the man could be discharged from the hospital, noted that the man was “ready to go”.

The judge said she was satisfied to lift the orders preventing the man from leaving the hospital and added that she was “very pleased” that his condition had improved since the matter had first come the court.

The judge also thanked solicitor Niall McGrath who had acted as the man’s court appointed guardian or guardian ad litem during the proceedings.

The judge further kept in place reporting restrictions preventing the media from publishing anything that would identify the man.

The court had previously heard that the man suffered injuries to his brain following an assault, and that his memory had been impaired.

The hospital claimed that the man at that stage did not believe, or was aware that he has sustained such injuries, but wanted to discharge himself from the hospital and had expressed a desire to go “fishing.”

The hospital when seeking the order had claimed that the man could find himself in an extremely vulnerable position if he was to leave at that point in time.

He had been undergoing various treatments including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and psychotherapy at the hospital.

The man’s family were aware of the hospital’s concerns and had not opposed the hospital’s application to the court.

Aodhan O Faolain