XY v Clinical Director of St Patricks University Hospital and Another

JurisdictionIreland
JudgeMr. Justice Hogan
Judgment Date08 June 2012
Neutral Citation[2012] IEHC 224
CourtHigh Court
Docket Number[2012 No. 488 JR]
Date08 June 2012
Y (X) v Clinical Director of St. Patrick's University Hospital & Doctor B (A)
IN THE MATTER OF ARTICLE 40.4.2 OF THE CONSTITUTION
BETWEEN/
X.Y.
APPLICANT

AND

CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF ST. PATRICK'S UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL AND DOCTOR A.B.
RESPONDENTS

[2012] IEHC 224

[No. 488 J.R./2012]

THE HIGH COURT

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW

Administration of justice

Public - Exception - Practice and procedure - In camera hearing - Reporting restrictions - Applicant denying medical condition - Whether hearing being urgent justified in camera hearing - Whether reporting restrictions applied - Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 (No. 39), s. 45(1)(a) - Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008 (No. 14), s. 27 - Constitution of Ireland 1937, Article 3.1 - Reporting restrictions applied (2012/488JR- Hogan J - 8/6/2012) [2012] IEHC 224

Y(X) v Clinical Director St Patrick's University Hospital

MENTAL HEALTH

Involuntary admission

Personal examination - Whether examined by general practitioner - Whether applicant subjected to personal examination by consultant psychiatrist - Whether arbitrary confinement - Whether detention invalidation by method of detaining - DX v Judge Buttimer [2012] IEHC 175, (Unrep, Hogan J, 25/4/2012) followed; People (DPP) v Kavanagh [2012] IECCA 65, (Unrep, CCA, 24/5/2012), Re Maguire's Application [1996] 3 IR 1 and Varbanov v Bulgaria [2000] ECHR 457 considered; L v Clinical Director of St. Brendan's Hospital [2008] IEHC 11, [2008] 3 IR 296; (Unrep, SC, ex tempore, 15/2/2008) followed - Mental Health Act 2001 (No 25), ss 2(1), 9(1), 10(2), 14, 17(1) and 18 - Mental Treatment Act 1945 (No 19), ss 184 and 260 - Constitution of Ireland 1937, Article 40.4.2 - Claim dismissed (2012/488JR- Hogan J - 8/6/2012) [2012] IEHC 224

Y(X) v Clinical Director St Patrick's University Hospital

Facts The applicant, who was involuntarily detained in the respondent hospital pursuant to the provisions of the Mental Health Act, 2001 sought an inquiry pursuant to Article 40.4.2 of the Constitution into the legality of her detention. The second named respondent, having met with the applicant on two occasions was subsequently requested by the applicant's family to recommend that the applicant be involuntarily admitted. The second named respondent observed the applicant but did not speak to her prior to making the recommendation pursuant to s. 10(2) of the 2001 Act. Upon admission to the respondent hospital the applicant was immediately assessed by a psychiatric registrar and the following day was examined by a consultant psychiatrist who then made an admission order under s. 14 of the 2001 Act. The applicant submitted that she was not examined prior to the making of an admission order and consequently was detained unlawfully. Counsel on behalf of the applicant applied to have these proceedings heard in camera and in that regard sought to invoke the provisions of s. 45(1)(a) of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 and in particular relied on the urgent nature of this application as a ground for holding the proceedings in camera. Counsel on behalf of the second named respondent applied to be dismissed form the proceedings insofar as he was made a respondent on the basis that he was not the person detaining the applicant.

Held by Hogan J. in refusing to order the release of the applicant: (1) That the fact the application herein was urgent did not of itself justify an in camera sitting of the Court. It was possible to balance the competing Constitutional values of the public administration of justice with the Constitutional values of marital privacy, the autonomy of the family and the dignity of the individual by making an order pursuant to the provisions of s. 27(1) of the Civil law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008.

(2) That the second named respondent was not the detainer of the applicant and consequently there was no justification for naming him as a respondent and he was struck out as a respondent and joined as a notice party with an entitlement to be heard.

(3) That even if it was accepted that the applicant was not examined by the second named respondent within the meaning of s. 2(1) of the Act of 2001, such failure could not invalidate the subsequent and otherwise valid detention made pursuant to s. 14 of the Act. There had been an examination by a consultant psychiatrist in the sense envisaged by the definition of 'examination' contained within s. 2(1) of the Act of 2001.

L. v. Clinical Director of St. Brendan's Hospital[ 2008] IEHC 11 (High Court and Supreme Court judgments) followed.

CONSTITUTION ART 40.4.2

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S9(1)

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S10(2)

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S14

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S18

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S17(1)

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S17(1)(C)(ii)

CONSTITUTION ART 34.1

INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS (IRL) LTD & ORS v JUDGE ANDERSON 2006 3 IR 341 2006/29/6308 2006 IEHC 62

DOE v REVENUE CMRS 2008 3 IR 328 2008 2 ILRM 114 2008/14/2866 2008 IEHC 5

COURTS (SUPPLEMENTAL PROVISIONS) ACT 1961 S45(1)(A)

WALSH & ORS, STATE v LENNON & ORS 1942 IR 112

ZWANN & ORS, IN RE 1981 IR 395 1981 ILRM 333 1981/12/2305

R LTD, IN RE 1989 IR 126 1989 ILRM 757 1989/8/2304

X (D) v JUDGE BUTTIMER UNREP HOGAN 25.4.2012 2012 IEHC 175

DPP v KAVANAGH & ORS UNREP CCA 24.5.2012 2012 IECCA 65

CONSTITUTION ART 40.5

CIVIL LAW (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 2008 S27(1)

CIVIL LAW (MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS) ACT 2008 S27

BARNARDO v FORD 1892 AC 326

QUINN, STATE v RYAN & QUINN 1965 IR 70

CONSTITUTION ART 40

RSC O.15 r14

CONSTITUTION ART 40.3.2

APPLICATION OF MAGUIRE, IN RE; GALLAGHER v DIRECTOR OF THE CENTRAL MENTAL HOSPITAL (NO 2) 1996 3 IR 1 1996/11/3382

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S2(1)

O'REILLY v MORONEY & MID-WESTERN HEALTH BOARD UNREP SUPREME 16.11.1993 1993/14/4246

MENTAL TREATMENT ACT 1945 S260

MENTAL TREATMENT ACT 1945 S184

Z (M) v KHATTAK & TALLAGHT HOSPITAL BOARD 2009 1 IR 417 2008/61/12840 2008 IEHC 262

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S14(1)

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S14(2)

L (R) v CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF ST BRENDANS HOSPITAL & ORS 2008 3 IR 296 2008/34/7438 2008 IEHC 11

L (R) v CLINICAL DIRECTOR OF ST BRENDANS HOSPITAL & ORS UNREP SUPREME 15.2.2008 (EX TEMPORE)

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S13

MENTAL HEALTH ACT 2001 S10

VARBANOV v BULGARIA UNREP 5.10.2000 2000 ECHR 457

EUROPEAN CONVENTION ON HUMAN RIGHTS & FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS ART 5(1)(E)

1

1. The applicant, whom I shall describe as Ms. Y., is presently involuntarily detained in St. Patrick's University Hospital pursuant to the provisions of the Mental Health Act 2001 ("the Act of 2001"). She was detained on 24 th May, 2012, in circumstances I will presently describe.

2

2. On 31 st May, 2012, she commenced judicial review proceedings in which she also sought an inquiry pursuant to Article 40.4.2 of the Constitution. I will assume for present purposes that the applicant is in fact permitted to commence Article 40.4.2 proceedings in this fashion. At all events, on 31 st May, 2012, Cross J. made an order under Article 40.4.2 directing the respondents to produce Ms. Y. before the Court and to certify in writing the grounds for her detention. Following a short adjournment that hearing commenced before me on 5 th June 2012 and this is accordingly my judgment on the Article 40.4.2 application. I am making no order or expressing any view in relation to any other aspect of these proceedings.

3

3. Ms. Y is a woman in her early 50s who is married with several teenage children. Dr. B. is a general practitioner who contends that Ms.Y. became his patient in July 2011, although this is denied by Ms. Y. (I am concealing Dr. B.'s identity in order to ensure that Ms. Y.'s identity is not inadvertently compromised). It is not, however, disputed but that Dr. B. had two consultations (each lasting for an hour or longer) with Ms. Y in July, 2011 and August, 2011.

4

4. According to Dr. B.'s evidence - which has not been controverted - Ms. Y told him in July, 2011 that she had had a religious conversion and that apparently as a result of this Ms. Y. has come to believe that she had been gifted with special gifts from the Holy Spirit. This included the gift of healing, speaking in tongues and witnessing the Divine Presence on an altar following a funeral. Ms. Y. also discussed topics such as the threat posed by the Devil and various other demons.

5

5. Dr. B. formed the view at the time that Ms. Y was distinctly unwell and suffering from paranoia and delusions. This was firmly denied by Ms. Y. who maintains that she is merely a Christian charismatic with strong religious beliefs. Dr. B. made an arrangement for Ms. Y. to meet a prominent psychiatrist, but she failed to keep this appointment.

6

6. Matters came to a head in early May, 2012 when members of the applicant's family expressed deep concern to Dr. B. about her behaviour. She had come to believe many unpleasant things about her husband and her own siblings. Her family further informed Dr. B. that Ms. Y. was up and about at night and sleeping by day and that there was considerable tension within the house. They contended that she had become obsessional about religious matters, including putting salt down her son's bed to ward off evil spirits. She also insisted that she could use her special gifts to ensure that certain well known soccer and rugby teams met success in both the Premiership in the UK and in the Heineken Cup respectively.

7

7. Dr. B. met the applicant when she was visiting a hospital on 15 th May. She expressed concern that the hospital and its nurses were engaged in malign activities and this re-inforced Dr. B.'s concerns. Following a discussion later that evening between Dr. B. and the other family members, it was agreed that a sibling would make the application under s. 9(1) of the Act of 2001 for a recommendation to Dr. B. that Ms. Y be...

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