Reasons for allowing an application for an order that it is in the best interests of E to receive Covid-19 vaccinations.
E is a man in his mid-60's who has moderate to severe learning disability and there is no dispute that he lacks capacity to make decisions for himself about whether or not to receive Covid-19 vaccinations. The Official Solicitor, as E's litigation friend, indicated vaccination was likely to be in E's best interests. However one of E’s siblings strongly opposed the application and sought an expert witness opinion from Dr Eccles, who is strongly critical of vaccination, “to assist the court to put itself in E's shoes.” There were claims that E’s disability had been caused by the vaccine for whooping cough.
In this judgment Poole J first sets out the rules around expert witnesses and explains why he declined to allow the evidence from Dr Eccles. He then reviews the other evidence and the risks to E of having the vaccine given his obesity, before nothing that the approach to vaccination articulated by Hayden J in E (Vaccine)  EWCOP 7, SD v Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea  EWCOP 14, and SS v London Borough of Richmond upon Thames & Anor  EWCOP 31 remains valid, even though the nature of the pandemic has changed dramatically since then and the vaccines can no longer said to be untested. He notes that it is clear E would wish to be able to attend indoor events as he has done in the past, which the care home staff may restrict if he remains unvaccinated. Mr Justice Poole also analyses whether E would have concluded that he should have the vaccine despite thinking the whooping cough vaccine had caused his brain damage but decides that he does not know enough about E’s wishes to arrive at a clear conclusion before deciding that at 
“There may be exceptional cases where P's condition, history or other characteristics mean that vaccination would be medically contra-indicated in their case but in the great majority of cases it will be in the medical or health interests of P to be vaccinated in accordance with public health guidelines.
Hence disagreements amongst family members about P being vaccinated which are at their root disagreements about the rights and wrongs of a national vaccination programme are not suitable for determination by the court. It will be in P's best interests to avoid delay and for differences to be resolved without recourse to court proceedings.”
Read the judgment on Bailii
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