In 2012, the Supreme Court considered in Rabone & Another v Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust [2012] UKSC 2 that the state’s positive obligation under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) would likely apply to voluntary and involuntary patients alike. Seven years later, this has been confirmed in Fernandes de Oliveira v Portugal (No. 78103/14, 31 January 2019).

AJ was an alcohol-dependent depressed schizophrenic patient who had been voluntarily admitted on eight occasions to the Hospital Psiquiátrico Sobral Cid (HSC) in Coimbra, Portugal. His final admission in April 2000 followed an overdose. Despite a supposedly initial restrictive reg...

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