Safeguards for people who lack capacity to consent are inadequateBMJ 2006; 333 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.333.7558.63-a (Published 06 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:63
- Clare Dyer, legal correspondent
New safeguards for people in England and Wales who lack capacity to consent to admission to residential homes or hospitals for care or treatment have been criticised by mental health and disability groups as not robust enough.
Health minister Rosie Winterton outlined plans last week to close the “Bournewood gap.” This currently leaves people who have conditions such as dementia and severe learning disabilities and who are admitted to hospital or care homes under common law, without the legal protections that cover people sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
In October 2004, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg ruled that the lack of means for “compliant” patients who lack the capacity to consent to …