Day 10 of the #LBBill Twelve Days of Christmas and we’re onto Clause 7.
The focus of Clause 7 is making the Mental Capacity Act 2005 work better as a safeguard for disabled people and families. It is supposed to empower disabled people and support family involvement, but we are concerned the opposite is happening and it is being used to enforce the wishes of the public authority and exclude families from decisions.
This, and our proposed changes are explained further in today’s audio introduction film with easy-read images
We propose three changes in Clause 7:
- Make it impossible for a person to be found to lack capacity to make any decision, unless there has been consultation with the disabled person and friends and family members about their ability to take the decision for themselves.This could only be overridden where it was necessary and in the person’s best interests for capacity to be decided without consultation. This would typically be restricted to emergency situations, not choices about where they live.
- Make disabled people’s own wishes and feelings ‘a primary consideration’ in every decision taken about them where they lack capacity to decide for themselves. This would require their full range of human rights to be respected.
- Require consultation with family members and friends in all best interests decisions, as long as it is possible and in the disabled person’s best interests to do so. We think that the current requirement for family and friend consultation is much too vague and easy for state bodies to ignore.
We think these changes would make the Mental Capacity Act a much stronger and safer piece of legislation. Do you agree?
Are there other changes to the Act you would like to see?