Dementia sufferer should receive Covid vaccine despite fear of side-effects, judge rules
A woman who said her sick elderly mother should not be vaccinated against Covid-19 because of the risks of side-effects has lost a fight in a specialist court.
The woman told a judge that her mother, who has dementia and is in a care home in the South West of England, would not have wanted the vaccine.
She said vaccines should be regarded as being in a “preliminary trials” stage and her mother should not be compelled to take part in a “trial”.
But Mr Justice Hayden ruled against her on Wednesday after considering evidence at a virtual hearing at the Court of Protection, where issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions are analysed.
Council social services bosses responsible for the pensioner’s welfare said she should be given a vaccine and Mr Justice Hayden has decided that is in her best interests.
He said the retired waitress would be at “very high” risk if she was not vaccinated.
The judge, who is based in London and also oversees cases in the Family Division of the High Court, said the woman, in her 70s, could not be identified in media reports of the case.
“My mother wouldn’t want it,” the daughter told Mr Justice Hayden.
“There are different solutions to the issue that don’t have the side-effects of vaccination.
“There is a dark side in this situation, a flip side, if you like.”
The judge was told that the staff and all other residents in the care home where the woman lived had been vaccinated.
“I do consider it is in her mother’s best interests to receive the vaccination,” said Mr Justice Hayden.
“The risk were she not to be vaccinated would be a very high and a very grave one.
“In those circumstances there is a magnetic pull towards protecting her.”
Mr Justice Hayden said the pensioner was not mentally capable of making a decision about vaccination herself.
He said he had to put himself in the pensioner’s shoes and decide what she would have wanted.
The woman asked the judge: “If anything does happen to my mother when she receives the vaccination, who is to held accountable?”
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