Mc G. -v- Medical Director of the Mater Hospital, [2007] IEHC 401 (2007)

Docket Number:2007 1413 SS
Party Name:Mc G., Medical Director of the Mater Hospital
Judge:Peart J.

THE HIGH COURT Record Number: 2007 No.1413 SSBetween:PMcGApplicantAndThe Medical Director of the Mater Misericordia HospitalIn the City of DublinRespondentAndThe Clinical Director of St. Aloysius Ward Psychiatric Unit of the Mater Misericordia Hospital in the City of DublinAndThe Health Service ExecutiveAnd, by orderThe Mental Health TribunalNotice PartiesJudgment of Mr Justice Michael Peart delivered on the 29th day of November 2007:This matter came before the Court on the 3rd October 2007 by way of an application for the release of the applicant pursuant to Article 40.4 of the Constitution. Having heard the evidence and the submissions of all parties represented before me I concluded that while there had been a failure to comply with the requirements of s. 22 of the Mental Health Act, 2001 when a decision was taken to move the applicant from St Aloysius Ward, an approved centre for the purposes of the Act in the respondent's hospital, to a medical ward therein, namely St. Teresa's Ward so that he could receive medical treatment as opposed to psychiatric treatment, since his transfer was not arranged by the clinical director of an approved centre as required by the section, this failure was not such as to render his detention unlawful to the extent that the order sought should be made. I gave my reasons in an ex tempore ruling at the conclusion of submissions on the 3rd October 2007, and indicated that I would deliver a written judgment in due course in case it was of assistance in any future application.I will first set out a brief history of relevant facts and events as are disclosed in the affidavit sworn to ground the application by Ms. Niamh Moran, the solicitor assigned by the Mental Health Commission to represent the interests of the applicant pursuant to the provisions of s. 17(1)(b) of the Act, and the documents exhibited therein. It would be useful at this point also to set out the provisions of s. 22 which are at the heart of the present application. They are:"22. - (1) A clinical director of an approved centre may arrange for the transfer of a patient detained in that centre for treatment to a hospital or other place and for his detention there for that purpose.(2) A patient removed under this section to a hospital or other place may be kept there so long as is necessary for the purpose of his or her treatment and shall then be taken back to the approved centre from which he or she was transferred.(3) The detention of a patient in a hospital or other place under this section shall be deemed for the purpose of this Act to be detention in the centre from which he or she was transferred." (my emphasis)Ms. Moran represented the applicant at the review hearing in respect of a Renewal Order dated 5th September 2007 held on the 25th September 2007 pursuant to the provisions of s. 18 of the Act. Evidence given at that review hearing included evidence from John Sheehan, Consultant Psychiatrist and according to Ms. Moran he gave evidence as to the applicant's 'medical cum psychiatric condition'. It appears that the applicant had become medically unwell and that in order to address his medical condition he was moved from St Aloysius's Ward, which is a psychiatric unit within the Mater Hospital and an approved centre for the purpose of the Act, to St. Teresa's Ward, which is in the medical part of the same hospital but which is not an approved centre for the purpose of the Act. It would appear that on the 20th September 2007 those personnel in charge of the applicant had become of the view that his medical condition had deteriorated significantly and that he need to be moved to St. Teresa's Ward so that investigations could be carried out to determine the cause of the deterioration and any...

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