Bagguley v E [2019] EWCOP 49

This case concerned an application brought by a Deputy for property and affairs for authority to undertake DNA testing of an elderly man with dementia (P) to establish whether he was the father of 3 adults.

Previous DNA tests had been inconclusive and the Deputy applied for the paternity testing on the basis that it was in P’s best interests for the relationships to be determined.

The judgments of LG v DK [2011] EWHC 2453 (COP) and DCC v NLH [2019] EWCOP 9 were considered inter alia and Mr David Rees QC (instructed by the Official Solicitor) recognised that declarations made as to the best interests of P and orders facilitating the taking of bodily samples for non-therapeutic purposes did fall within the scope of ss15 and 16 MCA 2005.

The approaches in Re: P (Statutory Will) [2009] EWHC 163 (Ch) and Re: D (Statutory Will) (Court of Protection) [2012] EWHC 2159 (Ch) were also considered.

Mr. Justice Hayden commented that the resolution of the DNA analysis was likely to ‘promote an affectionate memory of him’ and that it was in P’s best interests ‘that he is remembered with affection by his family’. Therefore Mr. Justice Hayden was ‘entirely satisfied that the mechanism for testing here was ‘minimally intrusive and no more’. He also hoped that by establishing the relationship between P and the 3 adults would reduce the need for any contentious dispute in relation to P’s estate after his death.

The full judgement can be read here

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