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21 MAR 2012

CARE PROCEEDINGS: Re P (Fabricated Illness: Medical Evidence)

(Court of Appeal; Ward, Stanley Burnton, Elias LJ; 24 January 2012)

One of the mother's children had experienced seizures with no medical explanation available, it was alleged the mother had fabricated the illness. The mother appealed the court's decision not to allow further independent medical evidence. The appeal was supported by the local authority, the father and the guardian.

Appeal allowed. The Court of Appeal was slow to interfere in case management decisions but the judge had erred in failing to pay sufficient regard to the unusual circumstances of the case in that all parties supported the mother's application. Further evidence was required to give the court the best opportunity to establish the truth. Fairness to the family as a whole, particularly the children required a careful examination of the mother's conduct and behaviour. 


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