Charity fears bill will prevent people with learning difficulties making own decisions

Learning difficulty charity People First has expressed concern
over the proposals expected to be included in the Mental Incapacity
Bill due out this week.

The charity is concerned that the bill could lead to relatives
and care workers having greater control over the lives of the
people with learning difficulties they care for.

“The government is putting too much faith in our carers
and relatives to make decisions for us that are really in our best
interests. We often have decisions made for us that are best for
our care staff or relatives, not what is best for us,” said
National People First campaign worker Carol Lee.

She added that paid workers often made decisions on behalf of
people with learning difficulties because “they can’t
be bothered” to spend the time and effort supporting
individuals to make decisions for themselves.

The charity said that there were often conflicts of interest
between people with learning difficulties and their relatives or
care workers. One such example would be where the manager of a
residential home refuses to help a resident find out about moving
because of a fear of losing money while waiting for a new

People First is also concerned that the proposals will not
include a way for people to challenge the right of someone else to
make choices for them.

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