Supporting Vulnerable Adults: Citizenship, Capacity, Choice

By Ailsa Stewart | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
How Did We Get Here? – The
Evolution of the Adult Support and
Protection (Scotland) Act 2007

Introduction

The focus of this chapter is to consider the evolution of the Adult Support and Protection (Scotland) Act 2007 and the key issues and concepts discussed during its development. In examining the evolution of the primary legislation in Scotland, this chapter will consider emerging findings from empirical research. This research aims to examine theories of citizenship, capacity and choice using as an overarching framework, the development and early implementation of the ASP as well as the broader academic literature.

The ASP is, arguably, one of the few pieces of legislation in the world designed to protect and support adults both within and outwith a specific mental health or incapacity framework (MacKay, 2009). Whilst the ASP does include in its definition of 'at risk of harm' those affected by mental disorder and mental infirmity, it also covers those 'made more vulnerable by disability, illness and physical infirmity' (ASP, 2007). Therefore, implicitly, it is likely to impact on the lives of adults who neither lack capacity nor are experiencing mental disorder. This legislated intervention into the lives of adults who have capacity and the right to self-determination is a significant departure from the approach taken in other parts of the UK and Europe (MacKay, 2011). Recent reviews of adult protection policies in England and Wales have highlighted the demand for legislation to be developed in other parts of the UK (DH, 2009; Welsh Institute

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