Social work and end-of-life care

Social work is important in end-of-life care

Local authorities inundated with applications for Deprivation of Liberties authorisations after Supreme Court decision

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20140929 Lady HaleI covered the Supreme Court decision on Deprivation of Liberties in the West Cheshire and other cases earlier in the year. Just an update: there is evidence of adult social services teams of an inundation of cases which can only mean that people in residential care and receiving home care are getting their rights better looked after, although it’s clear there are problems. One commentator on the Community Care website argues that this decision enshrines social work values in the law, although possibly many other professions also value respect for autonomy among vulnerable people.

Link to the Supreme Court decision

Link to ‘Community Care’ article.

A good summary of the legal effect of the decision is provided by the Mental Health Law Online website, as follows:

(1) The ‘acid test’ for deprivation of liberty is whether the person is under continuous supervision and control and is not free to leave. (2) The following are not relevant: (a) the person’s compliance or lack of objection; (b) the relative normality of the placement (whatever the comparison made); and (c) the reason or purpose behind a particular placement. (3) Because of the extreme vulnerability of people like P, MIG and MEG, decision-makers should err on the side of caution in deciding what constitutes a deprivation of liberty.

The MHLO website also has loads of relevant links to other cases and to commentary:

Link to Mental health Law Online website.

This includes a link to the video of Lady Hale announcing the decision in the Supreme Court, which itself is an admirably clear account of the decision and why it’s important.

Link to Lady Hale video.


Written by Malcolm Payne

6 October 2014 at 11:54 am

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