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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11554
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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Next of Kin

Resolved Question:

My friend is currently in hospital over in Italy and can't make decisions for herself. Her little boy is only 3 and her parents have stepped in as Next of Kin. The problem is that I and the rest of her friends including sister unanimously agree that they are not acting in her best interests and going against what she would have wanted if she were in a position to make the decisions herself. I wanted to know what this means legally? We think at some point we may have to intervene and wanted to know if there were grounds for us to do that and how we'd go about it. I was trying to think of anywhere where NoK is stated and the only place I can think of in my friend's case is inside her passport. We're busy finding out who that person is now.

Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

There is no legal concept as next of kin in Scotland although anything which is English based (passport service, health service to name the ones you mention) tends to use the erosion next of kin.

However the law of guardianship and intervention is covered under the Adults With Incapacity (Scotland) Act 2000. See for example section 59 of that Act. You can get it online.

The sheriff can appoint a suitable person to be guardian to your friend. That could be the sister, for example.
As far as her little boy is concerned a parental rights application can be made under the Children (Scotland) Act 1995.

In either case if the parents objected there would be a hearing and the court would have to hear the case and decide what is in the best interests of mother and child.

From what you have said, these are the options available. I am happy to discuss any of them further with you but a solicitor will have to be instructed to help on a face-to-face basis.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
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