A Holocaust survivor at the centre of the UK’s first public Court of Protection case has claimed that living in a British care home reminds her of being held prisoner at a Nazi concentration camp.
The unnamed woman, a dementia sufferer in her nineties, told the court “consistently” that she wanted to leave the care home in question. She made references to “feeling like a prisoner again in the German concentration camp” and wanting to be “free from this place”.
The case is the first to be held in the public eye, following the recent launch of the Court of Protection’s new open-justice pilot scheme. The court typically handles disputes relating to, or involving, sick and vulnerable people.
Judge Eldergill heard that the woman in question wished to sell her home and travel to Israel. The woman further insisted that she wished to be buried in Israel following her death.
The woman’s daughter expressed the view that her mother’s “desire” to leave the care home was an “unrealistic aim”. She made claims that her mother was well cared for and should stay at the care home.
Council social services staff have asked Judge Elderhill to make a decision about what is in the best interests of the woman, who was held in a German concentration camp during the Second World War.
The council’s legal team told Judge Eldergill that the woman had vascular dementia and an acute kidney problem. They also revealed that she suffered from diabetes and hearing difficulties. Claims were made that she had been assessed in 2015 as lacking the mental capacity to make decisions about where she lived and who provided her care.
The judge responded that if he concluded she lacked that capacity, he would make decisions on her behalf. It was suggested that a hearing would be held at the care home where the woman lived – allowing her to have a significant involvement in the proceedings.
Judge Elderhill adjourned the hearing to a date not yet confirmed.