The court was satisfied that the Patient understands in broad terms what the subject-matter of the litigation is but not satisfied that she is able to use and weigh the relevant information to make decisions and give instructions in relation to matters which are integral to the process of this litigation. On that basis, the court ruled that the Patient lacks capacity to conduct these proceedings.
This case highlights that the issue of capacity is multi-faceted.
Everyone must always remember that the issue of capacity is also issue specific. Reports which say P lacks capacity are not only unhelpful but misleading as it requires an analysis of what precisely it is said that P lacks capacity to do. The issue of P being able to retain information even for short periods and weigh it is too often overlooked, whether it is in the context of P suffering a mental disorder as defined under MHA or for example due to cognitive impairment such as dementia.
Read the full text of the judgment on Bailii