Duty of care: inadequate safety nets? – No. 5 Chambers

Posted August 29th, 2019 in detention, duty of care, hospital orders, human rights, news, self-harm, suicide by sally

‘It was recently confirmed in Fernandes de Oliveira v Portugal [2019] ECHR 106 (no.78103/14, 31 January 2019) that a state’s positive obligation under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) applies not only to compulsorily detained patients, but also to those in hospital. However, there was a disappointing caveat. The European Court on Human Rights (ECtHR) concluded that “a stricter standard of scrutiny” might be applied to patients detained “involuntarily” following judicial order (para.124). Indeed, no Article 2 violation was found. In a partly dissenting Minority Opinion (MO), Portugal’s Judge Pinto De Albuquerque and Judge Harutyunyan describe the decision scathingly as “the result of a creative exercise of judicial adjudication for an imagined country” (MO, para.16). This article analyses the case law the ECtHR failed to apply, contends that the decision is plainly wrong, and argues that no differentiation between voluntary and involuntary patients can be justified.’

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No. 5 Chambers, 6th August 2019

Source: www.no5.com