On 26 October 2022, the Spanish Constitutional Court unanimously rejected a request for precautionary suspension of the judicial authorization (granted by the Court of First Instance No. 2 of Telde upholding the Provincial Court of Las Palmas) for a residence to administer a COVID-19 vaccine to an elderly person who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and whose capacity had been modified by a court decision.

According to both lower courts, the elderly woman lacked capacity to consent to vaccination.

The elderly woman’s guardian argued that the precautionary measures were necessary to prevent irreparable or very difficult to repair harm by a coercive intervention on a person incapacitated to decide, an argument that hard been accepted by the Constitutional Court itself in a previous decision (case ACT 74/2021).

The Constitutional Court rejected the petition for reasons on the merits of the case explained in its (currently unpublished) decision. In particular, the court highlighted the difference between this case and case ACT 74/2021 put forward by the applicant. In the latter, the court had considered the situation of general compulsory vaccination imposed by law (Law 8/2008 of Health of Galicia, modified by Law 8/2021), which differs from this case, which related to a judicial authorization for a party which could not consent. Additionally, the lack of vaccination for an elderly person leads to semi-isolation, which implied negative effects on the person’s physical and physiological condition.

Reference: Informative brief No 93/2022

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