We are pleased to report that we won a court hearing on
Polly's behalf. Polly has been awarded a welfare deputy to help ensure
her values and beliefs are respected.
Throughout her working
life as an advocate for mental health service users, Polly campaigned for person-centred
care that recognised each persons individual values and beliefs and supported their
right to make their own decisions about their lives. She was particularly passionate about
the importance of respecting people's choices at times when they are unable to communicate
those choices themselves and, as part of her job, worked on a leaflet called "Getting Your Voice Heard".
accident we have been impressed with the skill and care put into her treatment. However,
we have been dismayed that some key decisions were made without taking into account her
values and beliefs. We also discovered that, contrary to common belief, next of
kin actually can neither consent to, nor refuse, treatment on their loved ones
behalf. This meant that her medical team were sometimes making decisions about
Pollys best interests without considering her as an individual.
We believe Polly would
have found this situation utterly unacceptable. We know that, unable to speak for herself,
Polly would want someone who knows and loves her to be her advocate. Her partner, sisters
and parents discussed the best way forward and together petitioned the Court of Protection
to appoint Jenny (Polly's younger sister) as Polly's welfare deputy.
Applying for welfare deputyship is a lengthy and difficult
process, and 80% of applications fail. So we are delighted to report that: We won our
case! This means that Jenny now has a legal right and obligation to represent Pollys
views. It will help us all to advocate more effectively on Pollys behalf, register
our concerns and try to create change.
Our experience leads us
to urge everyone to think, now, about how to protect themselves and their loved ones
should they lose the ability to make decisions for themselves. This is a cause about which
Polly felt very passionate, and we would like to honour her by ensuring that other people
take up this challenge.