Alamy Stock Photo

High Court extends orders preventing man with head injuries from discharging himself from hospital

The hospital’s lawyers argued that the man currently lacks the capacity to discharge himself.

THE HIGH COURT has extended orders preventing a man who suffered severe head injuries following an alleged assault from leaving the hospital where he is currently a patient.

Medical professionals treating the man, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, secured the orders earlier this week on the grounds that the man was seeking to leave the hospital where he is undergoing treatment.

The hospital’s lawyers argued that the man currently lacks the capacity to discharge himself, and expressed fears for his welfare and safety if he were to leave the facility.

When the matter returned before the court today, Mr Justice Mark Sanfey was told by the hospital’s lawyers that the man’s condition has improved.

It is now hoped that if he continues to improve, the man could be discharged from the hospital sometime later this month.

Steps have been taken to ensure that the man will be able to safely return to his home, once he is deemed ready to leave the hospital, the judge was also told.

In the meantime, the man’s doctors said that it remains the case that the man should stay and continue to undergo further treatment at the hospital.

The solicitor appointed by the court to act as the man’s ‘guardian at litem’ told the judge that the man, who was described as “a free spirit”, does want to leave the hospital.

The guardian said it was accepted that the man should continue to be treated at the hospital.

The man’s family support the hospital’s actions, the court was also told.

After considering both the medical evidence submitted by the hospital, and the guardian’s submissions the judge said that he was satisfied to extend the order detaining the man for a further short period of time.

The judge added that he was encouraged to hear that the man’s condition is improving, and the court expressed the hope that the man will be able to leave the hospital in a matter of days.

Addressing the man’s family members who were present in court, the judge said that he was very sorry about what had happened to the man.

The judge added that something like that “should never have happened, and hopefully it will not happen again”.

He said that the Irish legal system does not believe in “preventative detention”, and “places a high value on personal liberties”.

However, in cases such as the one before the court it was sometimes necessary to make orders temporarily detaining people for their own safety.

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

The man does not believe, or is aware that he has sustained such injuries, and wants to discharge himself from the hospital.

He wants to leave the hospital and to go “fishing”.

The hospital claimed that the the man would be in an extremely vulnerable position if he was to leave.

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

The man’s family are aware of the situation and are attempting to make arrangements so that he is properly cared for when he eventually leaves the hospital.

Mr Justice Sanfey, after adjourning the case for a week, said that he was giving the parties permission to come back before the court at any time, “should the need arise”.

Comments are closed as legal proceedings are ongoing. 

Aodhan O Faolain