Supporting Vulnerable Adults: Citizenship, Capacity, Choice

By Ailsa Stewart | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

After her death in 2001, a post-mortem found 49 injuries
on her body including cuts probably made by a razor
blade and cigarette burns. She had moved from sheltered
accommodation to her son-in-law's home – five weeks later
she was dead. But as the cause of Margaret Panting's death
could not be established, no one was ever charged. (House
of Commons, 2004)

It has, perhaps, always been somewhat frustrating for many of us in adult care that the perceived procedural clarity of child protection systems are not immediately translated into the protection of adults (Leslie and Pritchard, 2009). However, the right of adults to self-determination (Boyle et al, 2002) has, alongside other key issues, meant that the evolution of adult protection has had significant barriers to overcome – in particular the need to ensure that any protective procedures directed at adults did not compromise their human rights (e.g. Article 5 or Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights) or extend the state's right to intervene in the rights of adults. It has been increasingly important to acknowledge that, given the catalogue of examples of adults suffering abuse at the hands of others (such as Margaret Panting, above), there is a need to provide protective measures for adults when they could potentially be at risk from harm (Penhale and Parker, 2008). Within this lies the challenge of identifying just what we are protecting adults from as these definitions and thresholds are crucial to the implementation of any policy, guidance or legislation.


The scope of this book

Its principal aim is to examine the existing adult protection framework in the UK, using as a lens theories of citizenship, particularly as they may impact on issues of capacity and choice. The focus is

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