There is “not a scintilla of evidence” to support a woman’s claim that her son, who has complex disabilities and resides in a specialist centre, is being prescribed inappropriate medication, a High Court judge has said.
The mother, who cannot be identified, repeatedly accused members of the court and her son’s carers of participating in “involuntary euthanasia” by allegedly administering laxatives to him.
She accused people involved in the “social state” of being “serial killers” involved in what she said was a “civil war case”. She asked for certain of her son’s medical records to be disclosed, so she could “press charges” for the “crime being committed”.
Mr Justice Mark Heslin at one stage left the courtroom as the woman continued to loudly voice her concerns while he was ruling in the case.
The judge said he did not dispute the sincerity with which the woman held her beliefs but said they were “simply not evidence based”.
He noted the mother alerted the national safeguarding team which did not regard her concerns as plausible.
Ward of court
The woman’s son was recently made a ward of the court after doctors concluded he was unable to manage his affairs due to various complex needs. The man needs significant assistance in all aspects of daily living, the judge said.
Mr Justice Heslin expressed regret that the relationship between care staff and the woman was “strained”. He noted reports she has been very confrontational and verbally abusive to them at times, which has caused her son to be “visibly upset”.
The mother has often declined video calls with the young man, while the father, who was not in court, has regular calls and visits that have been “very successful”, the judge said.
He said there is “little one can do other than express the hope a change of attitude […] may be forthcoming”. It is a “matter of first principles” that a mother would want to see her son and that a son would benefit from access to his mother, he added.
He renewed orders, sought by the Health Service Executive (HSE), authorising the person in charge of the man’s placement to take all necessary steps to ensure his safety and welfare. The judge said the evidence before him was that the unit is suitable and meeting the man’s needs.
The HSE’s counsel, Patricia Hill, earlier told the court the man is very happy at the centre.
Barrister Paul Gunning said his client, a solicitor who acts on the man’s behalf as his “committee”, was supportive of the HSE’s application for orders continuing his placement, which is “in his best interests”. He cannot express his views through words due to his disabilities, but the general solicitor believes he is receiving safe and consistent care, Mr Gunning said.
The man’s situation will be reviewed by the court in January.