Protecting vulnerable adults


Sir,- Sarah Lennon of Inclusion Ireland, makes important points in her letter on protecting vulnerable adults (July 18th). Our outdated ward of court system, with a status approach to assessing capacity, is an indictment on our legislators. There is much to welcome in the Assisted Decision-Making Act 2015, although tortuously slow in being implemented. But based on my experience of working with vulnerable adults, I would diverge from Ms Lennon in assuming that a move away completely from what is referred to as paternalistic care will have the positive outcomes for all adults. The notion that is proposed of supporting a person’s autonomy even to make “unwise decisions” will inevitably have negative consequences for some vulnerable adults, such as greater isolation, potential homelessness and financial debt for those who refuse support and treatment. In addition, carers and family members may experience the frustration of watching on powerlessly as services step away from intervening. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.