Deprivation of liberty safeguards — not fit for purpose

A key report by the House of Lords Select Committee, scrutinising the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA), has been published.

The MCA was described by the Lords as ‘a visionary piece of legislation’. Its aim was to keep any person who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves (due to a brain injury, learning disability, dementia or otherwise) at the centre of decision making.

The report confirms the high regard in which the MCA is held, but finds shortcomings in the outworking of the legislation. The ethos of the MCA is about empowerment of the person, yet the committee found that ‘risk aversion’ and ‘paternalism’ often still prevail within the health and social-care sectors…

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