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Scales of Justice, London

 

Today, the High Court ruled that the London Borough of Hillingdon acted unlawfully when they served Steven Neary, a young man with autism, with a Deprivation of Liberty order. The NAS welcomes the ruling and believes it should serve to demonstrate that local authorities should apply deprivation of liberty safeguards appropriately and with care.


Carol Povey, NAS Director of the Centre for Autism, says,


In this case, we have seen the wrongful application of an important and complex area of the law. It led to Steven Neary being kept away from his home for nearly a year and his father, his main carer, being excluded from the decision making process. The purpose of the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards is to prevent people who lack mental capacity from being deprived of their liberty unless it is in their best interests and necessary to protect them from harm. It is important to remember that, with the right support for families, people with autism, like Stephen, can live at home and in their communities.

 

She continues,


In order that these safeguards are properly imposed on individuals with autism in the future, support staff require appropriate autism-specific training in order to support people in the least restrictive way. The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards should be imposed only in instances of absolute necessity.

 

Recent research by the Mental Health Alliance, of which the NAS is a member, found that this area of law was misunderstood by many local authorities. This case demonstrates that local authorities must ensure proper awareness of the law on deprivation of liberty.


Source:

http://www.autism.org.uk/news-and-events/news-from-the-nas/steven-neary-high-court-ruling.aspx



Related Articles


“Update on Steven Neary Case: Dad and Autistic Son Reunited After High Court Judgement”:

http://www.aspie-editorial.com/2011/03/03/update-on-steven-neary-case-dad-and-autistic-son-reunited-after-high-court-judgement/



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