When it was announced in the media that Paul’s case was being heard publicly and without reporting restrictions (and therefore highly unusually) in the Court of Protection starting in November 2016, a bit of a storm started on Twitter. As I’ve stated previously, the family and I had nothing to hide and wanted to raise awareness of Advance Decisions, so there was no reason for the hearing to be anonomysed or in private.
The Hashtag #CoPBriggs was used, with Jenny & Celia Kitzinger through the Coma & Disorders of Consciousness Research Centre tweeting live throughout from the Court of Protection Hearing. The Judge allowed this.
I didn’t speak to the press during the hearing or give comment at all to the media, despite the Court room being packed with journalists and TV and newspapers reporters being outside, both in the morning when we arrived at the Court and throughout the day, as I wanted any Ruling to be fair, objective and respectful. No one could appreciate the pain, stress and exhaustion we were going through. The hearing was a week long, I had to leave Ella in before and after school care, catching two trains taking over an hour to and from Manchester, and the days were long and intense. It was an awful thing for us to go through.
When the Judgment was given and also on the day of Paul’s death, these were top trends on Twitter and I was surprised. However #CoPBriggs is educational and is used in Tweets about our Court of Protection and Court of Appeal cases by lawyers and academics and in relation to the Mental Capacity Act, disorders of consciousness and in training purposes.