Dementia sufferer who had long-standing opposition to vaccines should not get jab – judge rules

An 85-year-old woman who suffers from dementia and is in a care home should not be given a coronavirus vaccine, a judge has ruled.

Mr Justice Hayden was told that the woman, a former secretary at a factory in London, had a long-standing opposition to vaccines and would need to be restrained before being given an injection.

The judge concluded that vaccination was not in her best interests.

He heard evidence at an online hearing in the Court of Protection, where judges consider issues relating to people who lack the mental capacity to make decisions, on Friday, and was told that much of the woman’s cognitive function had gone.

A lawyer appointed to represent the woman, who never married and had no children, had asked him to make a decision about vaccination.

Mr Justice Hayden, who heard evidence from health staff and a care home manager, said the woman could not be identified in media reports.

Social services bosses at the London Borough of Richmond have welfare responsibilities for her.

The judge said evidence showed that she had a long-standing opposition to vaccines and would need to be restrained or sedated before being given an injection.

He said he was not attracted to either option.

“She would resist, I have no doubt, any restraint and it would create a traumatic and disturbing scenario, for her, for her carers, and for the other residents,” said Mr Justice Hayden, in a ruling.

“Although much of her cognitive function may have gone, her autonomy, and her own sense of it, continues.”

The judge, who is based in London and also oversees hearings in the Family Division of the High Court, added: “Ultimately, in my judgment, it is that which requires to be respected and is, ultimately, determinative.”

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2021, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Nick Ansell / PA.