Key facts

CD was 27 years old, diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and was 35 weeks pregnant. The Court of Protection allowed the Trust’s application for a declaration authorising a contingent care plan should CD lose capacity during labour.

Background

CD was a 27-year-old with paranoid schizophrenia. She was 35 weeks pregnant. She had capacity to make decisions in respect of the birth of her baby and the associated treatment, her treating team considered that there was a significant risk that she might lose capacity at a critical moment during labour.

The Court of Protection allowed the Trust’s application for a contingent and anticipatory declaration authorising a care plan in respect of CD and held that in the exceptional circumstances the Court had the power to make such a declaration contingent on CD losing capacity pursuant to s. 15 (1)(c) of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

Comments

This is an unusual case in that CD had capacity to make decisions in relation to the birth of her baby and any associated treatment. It is incredibly useful to note that the Court considered and determined the question of what to do in a situation where a person currently has capacity but it is foreseeable that they may lack capacity in due course. The application was more to cover an emergency situation should capacity be lost and to provide a contingency in such scenario.