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2022. May 18.

Decision 3238/2022 (V. 18.) AB

Decision number: IV/2778/2021.
Subject of the case:

Constitutional complaint against the ruling No. Pfv.II.20.234/2021/3 of the Curia (non-voluntary medical treatment)

The Constitutional Court, as the review court, rejected the constitutional complaint aimed at establishing a conflict with the Fundamental Law and annulling the judgement of the Curia in the subject matter of non-voluntary medical treatment. In the case underlying the proceedings, the petitioner was an elderly patient suffering from dementia who was admitted to hospital at the request of his family and with his consent on suspicion of medication overdose. The suspicion was not confirmed, but based on the hospital’s findings, the petitioner was transferred (without his consent) to the psychiatric ward of another hospital. The court of first instance ruled that the petitioner’s admission to the institution was justified and ordered his compulsory psychiatric treatment. The second instance court appointed a guardian ad litem and upheld the appealed part of the first instance court’s ruling. The Curia maintained the force of the second instance ruling. According to the petitioner, his right to personal liberty was violated during the court proceedings, and procedural guarantees were also violated, because neither the personal presence of the petitioner was ensured during the proceedings, nor his representative (his son) could exercise his rights, and the appointed guardian ad litem did not properly represent him. In its decision, the Constitutional Court concluded that, as is clear from the relevant minutes of the court, the petitioner’s proxy had been present all through the proceedings. On the other hand, the court decided to uphold the appointment of the guardian ad litem precisely in order to protect the petitioner’s legitimate interests, given that the proxy lacked legal expertise. The minutes also record that the guardian ad litem informed the proxy about the proceedings. In the light of these considerations, the Constitutional Court concluded that the alleged deficiencies in the representation of the petitioner did not constitute a violation of the petitioner’s fundamental rights in the specific circumstances of the present case, and therefore the judicial panel dismissed the constitutional complaint.