Saturday, 10 August 2013

Liverpool Care Pathway - In Whose Best Interests?

The quality of mercy is oft constrained and is vulnerability so defined in order to restrict and to deny...

This is Mail Online -

'The police officer said: “We've come to take Minetta Webb back to the hospital, she's been abducted”,' says D'Borah. 'We couldn't believe it. How could we abduct her? We're her family and just want to take care of her.

'At this point, I stepped outside and Susan locked the door behind me. There was no way we were letting Gran out, but the police officer said that if we didn't he would break the door down and arrest anyone who got in their way.

'It was very upsetting because we'd done nothing wrong. I know people will think there's more to it but we genuinely have no idea why they would do this. The only thing we could assume we'd done wrong was that she hadn't been signed out yet. But we'd been told that it was OK.

'What was really ironic was that before all this happened, we'd planned to return to the hospital the next morning to take flowers, chocolates and a thank-you card for the nurses at the same time as signing the paperwork. I don't think that will be happening now.'

The police officers told the family that, while in hospital, Mrs Webb had been made a subject of a Deprivation of Liberty Safeguard (DOLS) order, a draconian legal measure that allows local authorities, care homes and hospitals to restrict the freedom of vulnerable people if it is in their best interest.

Mrs Webb's relatives claim they had never even heard of the order until the police arrived.
'We had no idea what a DOLS order was and neither did the police officer,' says D'borah. 'We had to look it up on the internet.'


Formerly known as the Bournewood Safeguards, the Mental Capacity Act Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards were introduced into the Mental Capacity Act 2005 through the Mental Health Act 2007.

HL was an adult male who was autistic and had profound learning disabilities. He had lived in Bournewood Hospital from the age of 13 for over thirty years. In 1994 he was discharged into the community to live in an adult foster placement with carers Mr and Mrs 'E'. On 22 July 1997 HL became agitated at a day centre he attended, and was admitted to the Accident and Emergency Department at Bournewood Hospital under sedation. Due to the sedative, HL was compliant and did not resist admission, so doctors chose not to admit him using powers of detention under the Mental Health Act. HL never attempted to leave the hospital, but his carers were prevented from visiting him in order to prevent him leaving with them. A report by the Health Service Ombudsman heard evidence from a range of professionals that the standard of HL's care had been poor in the hospital, and he had become distressed and agitated. Mr and Mrs 'E' sought from the court a judicial review of the decision of the Bournewood Community and Mental Health NHS Trust "to detain the appellant on 22 July 1997 and the Trust's ongoing decision to continue the Appellant's retention" and a writ of Habeas Corpus Ad Subjiciendum to direct that HL be discharged and returned to their care.


The Mental Capacity Act strikes.

Wanda Maddocks was accused of 'kidnapping' her father when she feared for his safety and well-being. She was seized and hauled off to prison where she suffered attacks from the inmates.

Wanda is thought to be the first person to be imprisoned by the Court of Protection, but we do not know, we cannot say, because it sits in secret.

What arrogance!

In whose best interests does it sit? Who is it who decides what best interests are and who are they that they consider that they and only they are fit to determine another's 'best interests'? They are awarded this right by the Mental Capacity Act.

The Court of Protection was set up in 2005 under the Mental Capacity Act – one of Tony Blair’s most contentious laws. It gave legal force to so-called 'living wills' - Advance Care Directives or Death Warrants.

Who are these witchfinder-generals who sit in judgement and persecute and imprison the innocent?

The Witchfinder-Generals -

Matthew Hopkins, played by Vincent Price in the 1968 film (right) and Judge Martin Cardinal, played by himself, 2013 (left)

This is The Sentinal this is staffordshire -

She said: "He was too well to go into a dementia home. He hated it in care. He felt like he was in hell."

Then at Christmas, 2010, the family managed to smuggle out the 80-year-old former painter and decorator through a fire door at Park Hall – and into a waiting getaway car.

Miss Maddocks said: "I went to see dad at the home. I hadn't seen him in two weeks but I wasn't allowed to see him without supervision. Dad said, 'can you not give me some time on my own with my daughter?'

"He was really upset and wound up. It broke my heart.

"The next day my family managed to get him out. They rang me up and I started crying, saying 'bring him here, I know I can look after him a lot better, I will take him to Turkey'.

"I was thrilled. I had to hide him at my ex-boyfriend's house. The police were telephoning me, they were saying, 'we are coming to find you', and 'we will find you', and 'we want your dad back in that home'. It scared the life out of us. We didn't dare draw the curtains, I thought they were going to find us.

"I booked us a flight out to Turkey and we managed to get to Manchester Airport and flew out there.

"Dad improved 100 per cent in Turkey. He was so normal, and he ate well. I knew only I could look after him.

"He started putting weight on. His health improved so much it was amazing. He was going for walks all the time.

"He still had a bit of confusion, but his brain was being stimulated a lot more. I even took him line dancing.

"He decided he wanted to live in Turkey. He said we should go back and sort out his finances so he could move out there."

But when they did return to Stoke-on-Trent, Miss Maddocks developed bronchitis and had her father admitted to Abbots House care home, for what she intended to be two weeks respite care.

Instead, Mr Maddocks was put back in care for the rest of his life, and a Court of Protection battle continued between the family and the city council, to determine who should be responsible for deciding the best way to care for the frail pensioner.

After she was released from prison, Wanda and her family continued their best efforts to get their father out of care. Their many and best efforts were thwarted, ultimately, by their father's death in custody in January of this year.

Further reading -
Liverpool Care Pathway - The Dispassionate, The Merciless And The Cowardly

Liverpool Care Pathway - The Great Snatch 'N Grab Robbery

And, again, the Mental Capacity Act strikes...

This is Deccan Herald –

In what is believed to be the first ruling of its kind in the UK, an Indian woman who had an arranged marriage with a mentally disabled British Sikh man has been warned that she faces life in prison if she were to sleep with her husband.

Justice Holman, sitting at the Court of Protection in Birmingham on Tuesday, said her husband lacked the capacity to consent to a sexual relationship.

"The fact that they are married to each other would be no defence. If she were to have any form of sexual intimacy with him, he would be the victim of a criminal act," he said in his ruling.

Mr Justice Holman, sitting at the Court of Protection in Birmingham, warned the woman that she would face life imprisonment if she did ever sleep with her husband because he lacked the capacity to consent to a sexual relationship. The Telegraph
The argument that is at issue here is not the ethics behind arranged marriages but eugenics. This case does not sit in isolation.

The Telegraph

Those defined as vulnerable through perceived mental or physical disability - or simply frailty - are disadvantaged simply because of the denial of the required support to permit them the functionality of independence.

Someone who is different is not a lesser person for that but, by defining and describing this difference, so does society restrain such persons and disadvantage them.

A 'deficiency' described as a deficiency by another who possesses an ability or understanding that the other does not possess and, thereby, considers a deficiency is the perception of the eugenicist. Do the 'concerned', in fact, seek only to constrain? Is vulnerability thus constructed to contain and to deny?

Too easily, the jump is made and those perceived as 'deficient' are soon perceived as 'defective'.
"From an historical point of view, the first method which presents itself is execution… Its value in keeping up the standard of the race should not be underestimated."
Applied Eugenics - Popenoe

Paul Popenoe, a US eugenicist, authored this monstrous work in 1918.

Popenoe's book devotes a chapter to 'Lethal Selection' which involves the destruction of the individual through exposure to cold or bacteria.

The holocaust did not begin at Dachau or Buchenwald; it began in the hospitals and asylums.

How were the gas chambers conceived?

The most commonly posed means of eugenicide in the US at that time was the 'lethal chamber' - a locally operated gas chamber.

A medical holocaust has proceeded before our eyes and we have done nothing. It is become already a programme to limit life.

We stand at the edge of the abyss and, like the Fool on the hill, blithely do we step oblivious to all.

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