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'Deprivation of liberty' laws clarified

By Wesleyan

A new practical guide has been launched with the aim of identifying when the care or treatment of someone amounts to a deprivation of their liberty.

Published by the Law Society for both lawyers and health and social care professionals to use as a reference, it has the best interests of people who are unable to make decisions about their care or treatment at heart.

Such individuals are protected under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 by the deprivation of liberty safeguards, which make sure they are looked after in a way that does not inappropriately restrict their freedom.

This sometimes means providing treatments which they are unable to consent to, essentially making the decision for them.

Lawyers and health and social care professionals will be able to refer to the guide when deciding whether to place restrictions on the day-to-day lives of certain individuals.

It will help them to conclude if they are in the best interests of the person, or in fact a deprivation of their liberty.

Copyright Press Association 2015

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