Remy is detained in hospital under the Mental Health Act. On arrival he told the hospital staff about his religion which requires him to follow a Ketogenic diet. The hospital tell him they are unable to meet his dietary requirements due to budget constraints. Remy is distressed by this and talks to his mental health advocate, Karina.

Karina has attended BIHR training on human rights and recognises that this could be an interference with Remy’s right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (protected by Article 9 in the Human Rights Act). Karina talks to Remy about this and then arranges a meeting for him with the staff to discuss this.

At the meeting Karina talks to the staff about Remy’s right to freedom of religion. Although this is not an absolute right, and can be restricted, the restriction needs to be proportionate. Remy asks if the staff have considered other ways of supporting him to protect this right. After discussing some options, the staff agree that they can facilitate Remy cooking his own meals, which he is happy to do. They also refer Remy to the Occupational Therapist so that they can discuss getting him some help with the costs of the food.

Example from BIHR’s project Care and Support: A Human Rights Approach to Advocacy