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Deprivation of liberty safeguards 'only a last resort'

Deprivation of liberty safeguards 'only a last resort'
3rd April 2009

The Alzheimer's Society has responded to the announcement that the deprivation of liberty safeguards has been added to the Mental Capacity Act.

Brought in by the government recently, the option will allow the prevention of arbitrary decisions which deprive people of their right to freedom.

Neil Hunt, the chairman of the Alzheimer's Society, said that it is essential for people facing dementia to be supported to live their lives in the fairest way possible.

He noted that these measures should only be used as a last resort and only when it is in the "best interests" of the individual, after all other reasonable methods have been exhausted.

Mr Hunt added that through this new measure and "when taken with the rights that people with dementia have under the Mental Capacity Act, [it] will lead to a significant shift in the way we treat people with dementia and all those who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves".

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a framework to protect those over the age of 16 who are unable to make informed decisions for themselves.

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