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Man loses bid to leave nursing home, is made ward of court

An advocacy group representing the man said he has lost “his rights as a citizen”.

File photo
File photo
Image: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

Updated Aug 7th 2018, 6:09 PM

A MAN IN his 60s has lost his legal bid to leave a nursing home.

The man, who suffers from epilepsy, was made a ward of court by the President of the High Court today.

Mr Justice Peter Kelly said the court had heard “a clash of medical evidence” regarding the man’s capacity to look after himself, RTÉ News reports.

The court is open to new medical and psychiatric assessments being made in six or 12 months’ time to review its decision.

The man in question was a client of Sage Advocacy, a support and advocacy service for vulnerable adults.

In a statement the group said it was deeply disappointed by the decision, stating that the man “has lost his legal identity, his rights as a citizen and his ability to choose where he lives based on legislation dating from 1871″.

“It is truly saddening that the High Court, which should vindicate the rights of vulnerable people, should share the viewpoint of some of the most reactionary elements within the HSE and objectively take the view that it is better that a vulnerable person be held in custody in a congregated care setting, in the manner of latter-day Magdalenes, rather than challenge them to organise basic and necessary home-care services.”

Hospital 

The man was placed in a nursing home earlier this year after a period in hospital.

Solicitor Mary Condell said Sage has been involved with the man since 2016. She understands that the man is also very disappointed by today’s decision.

She said reviewing the case in several months’ time “may be of no use” as the man may lose his council home in the interim.

“We made a lot of effort to engage with the HSE in planning a safe discharge for him, they would just not engage with us,” Condell said.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the HSE said: “The ward of court process offers significant additional protections to vulnerable people. The committee of the person are charged with ensuring that the most appropriate decisions are made in respect of the ward (the individual).”

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Órla Ryan

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