Case on sections 23 and 24 of Mental Health Act 2001

M.K v Clinical Director of St. Patrick’s University Hospital and Governors of St. Patrick’s Hospital Dublin also known as St. Patrick’s University Hospital and Health Service Executive

Judgement of Ms. Justice Laffoy delivered on the 28th August 2013.

Application for relief under Article 40.4.2 of the Constitution.

The Applicant was admitted to the approved centre as a voluntary patient on the 11th July 2013. He repeatedly attempted to leave the ward and was uncooperative. At 17.50pm on the same day Section 23(1) was invoked by a nurse. At 23.50pm of the same day, he suffered a significant seizure which was a medical emergency and he was treated on an emergency basis and was taken from St. Patrick’s by ambulance at 00.25am on the 12th July 2013 to St. James’s where he was treated until the 19th July 2013. He was brought back to St. Patrick’s on the 19th July 2013. 

For further details of this case see the attached notes by Keith Walsh

Notes on M.K. Case


Involuntary admission where patient already in centre

K.C. v Clinical Director of St. Loman’s Hospital and Health Service Executive 
Judgement of Hogan J. Delivered on the 4th July 2013
Facts:    The Applicant was admitted to the approved centre on the 24th April 2013 following an application and recommendation. She represented to the consultant Psychiatrist that her professional status would be compromised if she was admitted involuntarily. She agreed to stay as a voluntary patient. No admission order was made. However she refused all treatment and never expressed a wish to leave the hospital. 
An authorised officer made an application under Section 9 on the 7th June 2013 and on the same day the applicant’s registered medical practitioner attended the approved centre and examined her. He made a recommendation for an involuntary detention and she was then admitted pursuant to Section 14.

For further details of this case see the attached notes by Keith Walsh.   

Court orders that blood tests may be taken from girl

Court: High Court

Remedy sought :  Interlocutory injunction 

This case concerned a 15-year old girl who had been detained under s.25 of the Mental Health Act 2001 in a hospital in Galway.  She was being administered medication without her consent and an issue arose as to whether a blood sample could also be taken.  The blood sample was needed to test for possible side-effects of the medication.

The Health Service Executive sought a court order authorising the taking of the blood sample.  The girl's parents supported the taking of the sample.

Birmingham J. granted the order sought.  He relied on Health Service Executive v M.X. [2011] IEHC 326, in which it was held that blood samples could be taken from an adult patient, and extended this to a child.  

Case Name:  

Health Service Executive v J.M. [2013] I.E.H.C. 12  
High Court, Birmingham J. January 16, 2013